In India, the poor have limited access to cooking gas (LPG). The spread of LPG cylinders has been predominantly in the urban and semi-urban areas with the coverage mostly in middle class and affluent households. But there are serious health hazards associated with cooking based on fossil fuels. According to WHO estimates, about 5 lakh deaths in India alone due to unclean cooking fuels. Most of these premature deaths were due to non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. Indoor air pollution is also responsible for a significant number of acute respiratory illnesses in young children. According to experts, having an open fire in the kitchen is like burning 400 cigarettes an hour.
Providing LPG connections to BPL households will ensure universal coverage of cooking gas in the country. This measure will empower women and protect their health. It will reduce drudgery and the time spent on cooking. It will also provide employment for rural youth in the supply chain of cooking gas
Under the scheme, an adult woman belonging to a poor family not having LPG connection in her household, is an eligible beneficiary under the expanded scheme.
Release of LPG connection under this Scheme shall be in the name of the women belonging to the BPL family.
Initially, the Government covered the following categories under the Scheme :-
- Beneficiaries listed in the SECC 2011 list
- All SC/STs households beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana(PMAY) (Gramin)
- Antyoday Anna Yojana (AAY)
- Forest dwellers
- Most Backward Classes (MBC)
- Tea & Ex-Tea Garden Tribes
- People residing in Islands
- People residing in river islands.
Benefits to the citizens
Under the scheme, five crore LPG connections are to be provided to BPL households. The Scheme provides a financial support of Rs 1600 for each LPG connection to the BPL households, interest free loan to purchase stove and refill by Oil Marketing Companies. The administrative cost of Rs. 1600 per connection, which includes a cylinder, pressure regulator, booklet, safety hose, etc. would be borne by the Government.
Implementation modalities of the scheme
- A woman of the BPL household, which does not have access to LPG connection may apply for a new LPG connection (in the prescribed format) to the LPG distributor.
- While submitting the application form, the woman will submit details, like Address, Jandhan/ Bank Account and Aadhar number (if the Aadhar number is not available, steps would be taken in coordination with UIDAI for issue of Aadhar number to the woman of BPL household)
- The LPG Field officials will match the application against SECC – 2011 database and, after ascertaining their BPL status, enter the details (name, address etc) into a dedicated OMC Web portal through a login/ password given by the OMCs
- OMCs will undertake electronically the de-duplication exercise and other measures for due diligence for a new LPG connection
- The connection shall be issued by the OMC to the eligible beneficiaries (after completion of various stages above).
- While the connection charges would be borne by the Government, the OMCs would provide an option for the new consumer to opt for EMIs, if she so desires, to cover the cost of a cooking stove and first refill. The EMI amount may be recovered by the OMCs from the subsidy amount due to the consumer on each refill; In case the State Government or a voluntary organization or an individual wishes to contribute the cost of a stove and/or first refill, they would be free to do so in coordination with the OMCs. However, this would be under the overall umbrella of PMUY and no other Scheme name/ tagline would be allowed without express approval of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoP&NG)
- OMCs will also organize Melas’ at various locations for release of connections to BPL families. This will be done in the presence of public representatives and distinguished personalities of the area.
- The scheme will cover BPL families under all forms of distributorship and for various sizes of cylinders (like 14.2 kg, 5 kg, etc.) depending on f the field situation.
- Benefits under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana has been extended to people of all Hilly States including NE States by treating them as ‘Priority States’. This step will effectively address the difficulty faced by poor people residing in the States of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura in accessing LPG for cooking purposes.
- For more information, contact tollfree number 18002333555 or 1906 (24 x 7 Helpline for LPG Consumers).