Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday launched the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in Maharashtra to provide free LPG connections to BPL households. The move will benefit 91 lakh households living below the poverty line in Maharashtra over the next three years. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis who was also present gave away free LPG connections to 10 women from BPL families. Pradhan said a target of 10 lakh connections has been set under PMUY for Maharashtra in 2016-17 out of which one lakh connections are to be provided in Mumbai.
Four lakh households in Maharashtra do not have LPG connections, he said. Fadnavis said he will work on updating the social economic caste census (SECC) data. The identification of BPL families is done through 2011 SECC data. More than one crore people in the country have given up LPG subsidies and are buying cooking gas at market price now.
As of April 2016, Maharashtra tops the list with 16.44 lakh consumers giving up subsidies, followed by Uttar Pradesh where nearly 13 lakh users gave up subsidies and Delhi with 7.26 lakh people giving up subsidies.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat was down the list with just 4.2 lakh giving up subsidies. In Odisha, around 1.3 lakh people gave up subsidies. Consumers are currently entitled to 12 cylinders of 14.2 kg each or 34 bottles of 5 kg each in a year at subsidised rates.
PMUY scheme provides subsidy of Rs 1,600 to the women beneficiaries, comprising security deposit of 14.2 kg cylinder, domestic pressure regulator, domestic gas consumer card and administration charges, among others.
Under the PMUY, Rs 8,000 crore has been earmarked for providing 5 crore LPG connections to BPL households and in the first year 1.5 crore connections will be provided.
LPG subsidy is transfered to beneficiaries directly in their bank accounts. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had in his Budget for 2016-17 provided Rs 2,000 crore to provide deposit free LPG connections to 1.5 crore women belonging to BPL families.
Further, the Budget announced that the scheme will be continued for two more years to cover 5 crore households in next three years. PMUY was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016. Pradhan also said that the Union Government is working towards setting up the country’s biggest refinery on the west coast which will help generate nearly one lakh jobs. Also, the petroleum minister said that the government would focus on welfare of petrol pump workers, taxi and auto drivers as well as women.