The usage of LPG is more prevalent in the urban and semi-urban areas of India. The majority of the rural population and families belonging to BPL families are still using fossil fuels to cook their meals. The usage of fossil fuels results in serious health hazards for the women of such families. According to experts, an open fire in the kitchen causes as much damage as burning 400 cigarettes in an hour.
Indoor air pollution also causes respiratory disorders in children. It also results in air pollution and deforestation. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas rolled out the scheme Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in May 2016 under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to address the above issue.
Union Budget 2021 Outcome:
The Finance Minister, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman announced the extension of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana to cover one crore more households.
Objectives of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
- To boost women empowerment.
- To provide healthy cooking fuel.
- To prevent health hazards due to the usage of fossil fuel.
Features of PMUY
- The scheme will provide 5 crore LPG connections to BPL families.
- There will be financial support of Rs.1,600 for each LPG connection given to BPL families.
- EMI facilities will be given for stove and refill cost (Interest-free loan).
- The administrative cost of Rs.1,600 for installation of the LPG will be borne by the Government.
- The scheme is complementary to the Prime Minister’s ‘Give It Up Campaign’ through which a huge number of middle-class families have voluntarily surrendered their cooking gas subsidy.
Beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
The main beneficiaries of the scheme are women belonging to poor families not having an LPG connection in the household. Initially, the following categories were covered under the scheme by the Government:
- List of beneficiaries in the SECC 2011 list
- All SC/ST’s households beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)(Gramin)
- Antoyoday Anna Yojana (AAY)
- Forest Dwellers
- Most backward Classes (MBC)
- Tea and Ex- Tea Garden Tribes
- Residents of islands and river islands
The benefit of the scheme has been extended to people residing in Hilly states, including North-Eastern (NE) states by treating them as ‘priority states’.
Eligibility Criteria Under PMUY
- The applicant must be a woman above the age of 18.
- The applicant must have the BPL card and must be a rural resident.
- The applicant must have a savings bank account in any of the nationalised banks to receive the subsidy amount.
- The applicant’s household must not already own an LPG connection.
Documents Required For PM Ujjwala Yojana
The documents required to apply for the scheme are:
- BPL ration card.
- Authorised BPL Certificate (Authorised by the Panchayat Pradhan/ Municipality Chairman).
- Photo Id – Aadhar Card/ Voters ID.
- A recent passport size photograph.
Process of Implementation of PMUY
- A woman of the BPL family not owning the LPG must apply to the LPG distributor for a new connection (in the prescribed format).
- While applying for the connection, the applicant must provide details like Address, Jandhan/Bank Account, and Aadhar card number (Incase the applicant does not own an Aadhar card, efforts will be made for coordination with UIDAI to issue Aadhar card to the applicant).
- The LPG fuel officials will match the details provided with the SECC – 2011 database and confirm the BPL status of the family and enter the given details into a dedicated portal given by the Oil Marketing Companies (OMC).
- OMC’s will conduct the de-duplication exercise and other measures for due diligence electronically.
- On completion of all the above steps, the LPG connection will be issued by the OMC’s.
- The Government bears the connection charges. However, the OMC’s will offer EMI option to the applicant, and the same will be recovered from the subsidy due to the applicant every month.
- In case the State Government or voluntary organization or individual wants to contribute towards the cost of stove and/or the first refill then they can do so; however the same must be done under the said scheme only, that is, under the umbrella of PMUY only.
- The release of new connections will also be done by the OMC’s thorough Melas at various locations.
- The scheme will cover BPL families under all forms of distributorship and for various sizes of cylinders depending on the field situation.
As a part of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana scheme for the PMUY beneficiaries, it has been announced that refills of up to three cylinders of 14.2 kg and an advance of the Retail selling price will be transferred by the OMC to the PMUY customer’s bank account which can be withdrawn to obtain refill from the distributor.
This scheme was to enable PMUY customers to combat the COVID-19 crisis. The scheme was valid till 30th September 2020. However, looking into the benefits of this scheme, an extension of this scheme was announced in the Budget 2021 to cover one crore more beneficiaries.
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