Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Scheme

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Scheme

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Scheme

Context:

The Union Cabinet has given its nod to an extension of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY). With this extension, 75 lakh more LPG connections will be released over three years, increasing the total number of beneficiaries to 10.35 crore by FY 25-26.

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Scheme:

  • The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Scheme was inaugurated on May 1, 2016, with the slogan “Clean Fuel, Better Life.”
  • Its primary goal is to protect the health of women and children by offering them clean cooking fuel, LPG, to eliminate the health hazards associated with smoky kitchens and firewood collection.
  • The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas oversees the execution of this scheme.

Key Features:

  • The scheme is accessible to all BPL families.
  • The target was increased to 8 crore LPG connections in April 2018 in contrast to its earlier targets of 5 crore LPG connections during the initial days.
  • And these connections are registered in the names of women within the households. Any adult woman from a BPL family can apply for a deposit-free LPG gas connection under this scheme.

Challenges in Implementing the PMUY Scheme:

  • Identifying deserving households for the free facility was challenging due to inaccurate data. The SECC-2011 data, used for identification, was not entirely reliable.
  • Many beneficiaries lacked essential documents alongside awareness of LPG safety requirements, particularly those from economically disadvantaged and less-educated backgrounds.

Performance of Ujjwala Scheme (Phase-I):

  • This phase significantly increased LPG coverage, rising from 62% on May 1, 2016, to 99.8% by April 1, 2021.
  • States like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan have benefited significantly from the scheme.

Ujjwala 2.0 Scheme:

  • Provisions for an additional 1 crore LPG connections under Ujjwala 2.0. were announced in the Union budget for FY 21-22.
  • This phase introduced a simpler form of getting the facility especially for migrant families, by eliminating the need for ration cards or address proofs.
  • The active domestic LPG consumers have also shown remarkable growth, increasing from 14.52 crore in April 2014 to 31.4 crore as of March 2023.