LPG Revolution: A record 17 crore new LPG connections helped double the cooking gas consumer base to 31.26 crore in the last 9 years, ushering in clean fuel in millions of households across the country, official data showed on Thursday.
The active domestic LPG consumers have increased from 14.52 crore in April 2014 to 31.36 crore as of March 2023. This significant increase was primarily due to the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), which has led to an increase in LPG coverage from just 62 per cent in 2016 to a whopping 104.1 per cent in 2022.
From a period when there was a waiting period to get a new LPG connection, and it would take 7-10 days for delivery of an LPG refill cylinder, cooking gas connections are now available on demand, and refills can be availed partially within 24 hours at most places.
5-kg cylinders introduced for consumers
Besides the 14.2-kg traditional cylinder, state-owned fuel retailers have introduced 5-kg cylinders for consumers with either lesser demand or lower purchasing power.
PMUY was launched on May 01, 2016, with a target to provide free cooking gas connections to every poor household.
As of January 30, 2023, the total number of connections released under PMUY is 9.58 crore, the data showed. On March 24, 2023, the Union Cabinet approved a subsidy of Rs 200 per 14.2 kg cylinder for up to 12 refills per year for the beneficiaries of PMUY.
ALSO READ: How to book LPG cylinder through WhatsApp: Steps to do it
PMUY was launched with the objective to safeguard the health of women and children by shifting kitchens from firewood and other smoky cooking mediums to clean fuel.
The scheme provides for deposit-free LPG connection to the eligible household with financial assistance of Rs 1,600 per connection. Free of cost first LPG refill and gas stove is provided for the first time by public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs).
The initial target was to provide LPG connections to 5 crore women members of BPL households. Subsequently, the scheme was expanded and the target was revised to 8 crore LPG connections. To cover the remaining households under PMUY, Ujjwala 2.0 was started on August 10, 2021, on a pan-India basis to provide an additional one crore LPG connections.
Ujjwala 2.0 achieves its target
The Ujjwala 2.0 target was achieved on January 31, 2022. Based on a large number of applications, the government has further extended the scheme with 60 lakh more connections under Ujjwala 2.0. Per capita consumption of PMUY beneficiaries has increased from 3.01 refills in 2019-20 to 3.66 refills in the financial year 2021-22, the data showed.
With the implementation of PMUY, about one lakh people got employment through the LPG distribution system. As part of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package, more than 14 crore free LPG refills were provided to the PMUY beneficiaries during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
About Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
Under PMUY, LPG connections are released in the name of an adult woman from a poor family. 35.1 per cent of PMUY beneficiaries are from SC/ST categories, the data showed. Women in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have been the biggest beneficiaries of PMUY.
A WHO report in 2018 said that Ujjwala Yojana had provided 37 million women, living below the poverty line, with free LPG connections to support them in switching to clean household energy use. This tremendous growth in LPG coverage among Indian households has been instrumental in improving women’s health by providing them with clean cooking fuel and environmentally beneficial by making the kitchens smokeless.
Latest Business News