CCEA approves extending Ujjwala LPG scheme to all poor households

New Delhi, Dec 18: The Union Government has extended Ujjwala Yojana of providing free cooking gas (LPG) connections to all poor households.

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday that the scheme, launched in 2016, originally targeted giving LPG connections to mostly rural women members of below the poverty line (BPL) households.

The list was later expanded to include all SC/ST households and forest dwellers among others, the Union Minister said.

                Pradhan said the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved expanding the scope of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana to cover poor families not having LPG connections and not covered under the existing beneficiary categories.

                The step will further increase penetration of LPG to 100 per cent households, he said.

                Under the scheme, the government provides a subsidy of Rs 1,600 to state-owned fuel retailers for every free LPG gas connection that they give to poor households. This subsidy is intended to cover the security fee for the cylinder and the fitting charges. The beneficiary has to buy her own cooking stove. To reduce the burden, the scheme allows beneficiaries to pay for the stove and the first refill in monthly installments. However, the cost of all subsequent refills has to be borne by the beneficiary household.

                The PMUY was launched on May 1, 2016 to provide 5 crore free LPG connections in three years. The target was expanded to 8 crore in five years.

                The World Health Organisation hailed PMUY as decisive intervention by the government to facilitate switch to clean household energy use, thereby addressing the problems associated with Indoor Household Pollution.

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