Did you know that breathing an hour of smoke rising from an open fire like cooking on firewood is equal to smoking 400 Cigarettes? Crores of women in our country belonging to BPL families had no access to LPG. Cooking on firewood had become a way of life. As per WHO, about 5 Lakh deaths in India are due to unclean cooking fuel.
Smoke inhaled from unclean fuels like kerosene, firewood, and biomass cause Non-Communicable Diseases like heart diseases, stroke, lung cancer, acute respiratory illnesses and so on. This not only impacts the old, but also the young. Who would compromise on eating a roti or two less each day, just to keep away from the dangerous smoke? Sounds illogical and ridiculous?
On May 1st 2016, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas introduced Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), to help crores of women who live in BPL families, enjoy a life free of smoke. PMUY provides LPG connections to women who are from Below Poverty Line (BPL) households across India.
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Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY): LPG for every household
1. PMUY is the largest direct initiative by the Government, to intervene and make the lives of women in BPL families, smoke-free. It empowers women and protects their health.
2. It reduces drudgery and the time spent on cooking. It also provides employment to rural women.
3. It addresses health hazards that women are exposed to by using firewood and cow dung while cooking.
4. Smoke free-houses to all.
5. 1 Lakh Employment opportunities to youth involved in the supply chain of cooking gas.
6. Under the scheme, five crore LPG connections will be provided to BPL households.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana means freedom:
1. Protects trees as firewood is not used.
2. Protection from snakebites and scorpion bites as citizens do not have to venture into the open forest to collect firewood.
3. Safety from the hazards of smoke as kerosene/cow dung will not be used as a fuel, releasing poisonous fumes into the environment.
Eligibility Criteria of PMUY:
1. The State Governments and the Union Territories will be consulted while determining the eligible families/beneficiaries.
2. A person/household who suffers from at least one deprivation as specified in Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) 2011 database belongs to the Below Poverty Line (BPL).
3. Preference would also be given to SC/ST and weaker sections of society in the selection of the beneficiaries.
4. States with lower LPG coverage compared to the National Average as on 1st January 2016, would be prioritized while giving new connections to BPL households.
5. LPG connections under this Scheme will be in the name of the women of a BPL family.
1. BPL households
2. All SC/ST household’s beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) (Gramin)
3. Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY)
4. Forest dwellers
5. Most Backward Classes (MBC)
6. Tea and Ex-Tea Garden Tribes
7. People residing in Islands
8. People residing in river islands
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Duration of PMUY:
The duration of the scheme would be over three Financial Years, i.e. 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.
Implementation of PMUY:
1. Women of BPL households not having access to LPG connections may apply in the prescribed format to an LPG distributor.
2. Details like Address, PMJDY Account/Bank Account and Aadhaar number are required.
3. In the absence of the Aadhaar number the Aadhaar card will be issued to BPL women in coordination with UIDAI.
4. The application will be matched against the SECC - 2011 database by the LPG Field officials to check for eligibility.
5. The connections shall be issued by the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) like IOC, BPCL, HPCL to the eligible beneficiaries.
6. Connection charges are borne by the Government. OMCs can provide an option to opt for EMIs to cover the cost of a cooking stove and the first refill.
7. The EMI amount may be recovered from the subsidy amount due to the consumer, on each refill.
8. State Government, Voluntary Organization or an individual can contribute to the cost of a stove and/or first refill in coordination with the OMCs.
1. 5 Crore LPG connections to be provided to BPL households.
2. The administrative costs of Rs 1,600 per LPG connection like a cylinder, pressure regulator, booklet, safety hose and so on would be borne by the Government.
The success of PMUY:
1. PMUY has issued an impressive 3.3 Crore Ujjwala connections since its inception on May 1st 2016.
2. On February 7th 2018, the Centre decided to ramp up this target from 5 Crores to 8 Crores and allocated additional funds of Rs 4,800 Crores.
3. As per the government data, LPG coverage in the country has increased to 80%, compared with around 62% before the launch of the PMUY.
For more information, please call the Toll-free number 18002333555 or 1906 (24 x 7 Helpline for LPG Consumers).
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