Five crore BPL families across the country would be provided with LPG connections with a support of Rs 1600 per connection within March 2019, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan announced on Saturday. Inaugurating the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) for BPL families of Assam in a function held in Dibrugarh, Pradhan also said about 90 per cent of the 37 lakh BPL families in Assam who do not have LPG connections as of now would also get it by March 2019. “The Assam government will also provide Rs 1,000 per PMUY connection to the beneficiaries, which will make LPG connection more affordable for the BPL families,” Pradhan added.
While the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2016 in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh, the same was delayed in Assam “due to certain technical reasons,” Pradhan said. Over 2.20 crore LPG connections have been already given in the first year of launch of this scheme, he said, pointing out this would also create about one lakh additional employment and provide business opportunity worth Rs 1000 crore for manufacture of cylinders, gas stoves, regulators, and gas hose.
Speaking on the occasion, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana was aimed at safeguarding the health of women and children by providing them with a clean cooking fuel so that they do not have to compromise with their health. “There are many families in the country who are still deprived of LPG as cooking fuel and thus have been compelled to rely on firewood, coal, dung cakes etc as primary source of cooking. The smoke from such fuels causes alarming household pollution and adversely affects the health of women and children, causing several respiratory disorders,” Sonowal said.