Union Minister of State (independent charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday launched the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana in West Bengal, for which the Centre will invest around Rs 3,000 crore to augment LPG supply, while also announcing that plans are underway to ensure that Kolkata gets piped natural gas supply over the next three years.
Targetted to benefit 1.06 crore BPL households in next three years, the PMUY programme will create 10,000 new jobs while giving more than 60 lakh LPG connections in the state over the next two years.
“Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had budgeted Rs 2,000 crore to provide 1.5 crore LPG connections for BPL households across India during financial year 2016-17 and in the next two financial years, the central government would make budgetary provision of Rs 6,000 crore for 3.5 crore new connections to BPL homes under the PMUY scheme,” Pradhan said.
“For this massive LPG distribution drive, there is a need for additional bottling capacity, new distributors and pipelines,” he added. Under the PMUY scheme, women of 1.06 crore BPL households in the state would get LPG connection at Rs 1,600 each, comprising security deposit of a 14.2-kg cylinder and domestic pressure regulator, suraksha hose, domestic gas consumer card and installation charges. They can also avail EMI scheme for purchase of ovens.
The pre-condition for a beneficiary under this scheme is possession of a bank account number and Aadhaar card so that the subsidy could be directly transferred to the bank account.
After the scheme is rolled out here, three oil marketing companies — IOC, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) — will invest Rs 540 crore in order to add up the bottling capacity by 400 TMTPA for meeting the rise in demand.
“Plans are there to have an LPG import terminal at Haldia and trunk pipelines for transportation. All these would entail an investment of roughly Rs 3,000 crore”, the oil and petroleum minister said.
In another major announcement, Pradhan said the oil ministry has drawn up plans to provide piped natural gas in and around the metropolis over the next three years for which a Rs 12,000-crore investment has been earmarked.
“Kolkata will get piped natural gas for cooking. Concrete plans have been made to set up the Jagdishpur-Haldia pipeline which will require an investment of Rs 12,000 crore”, he said.
The minister said 40 per cent of the cost of this plan would be borne by the Union government and the rest 60 per cent by state-owned GAIL. Pradhan said laying of the 2,000-km pipeline from Jagdishpur to Haldia would help in the industrial development of West Bengal, adding that the oil ministry was in touch with the West Bengal government in this regard. “The West Bengal government is cooperating with the Centre”, he said.
The proposed pipeline would help the fertiliser plants in states through which it would pass — Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. India was also setting up an LNG terminal at Dhamra in Odisha for proposed supplies to Bangladesh.
To meet the domestic requirement of LNG, the minister said bookings had been already made from the US, Australia, Mozambique, Iran, Qatar and British Columbia. “The total LNG handling capacity would go up to 50 mtpa, besides there will growth in domestic supplies,” Pradhan said.(With PTI inputs.)