Prime Minister Ujjwala Plan: Eligibility, Benefits
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana was launched on 1st May, 2016 with a mission of distributing 50 million LPG connections to all the women who live below poverty line.
The poor always have limited access to cooking gas (LPG) in India. The distribution of LPG cylinders was primarily in urban and semi-urban areas, with coverage being mostly in the middle class and affluent households.
But there are some health issues associated with fossil-fuel dependent cooking—the WHO estimated around 5 lakh fatalities in India alone due to unclean cooking fuels.
Non-communicable diseases like heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer have caused most of these premature deaths.
A large number of acute respiratory conditions in young children are also responsible for indoor air pollution. Having an open fire in the kitchen, according to experts, is like burning 400 cigarettes an hour.
The provision of LPG connexions to BPL households ensures the country’s universal cooking gas coverage. It will eventually encourage women and protect their health through this measure.
Drudgery and the time spent on cooking would be reduced. It will also provide rural youths with employment in the cooking gas supply chain.
- Under the programme, an adult woman belonging to a low-income family who does not have a household LPG connexion is a qualified beneficiary under the extended plan.
- By this Scheme, the release of the LPG link shall be on behalf of women belonging to the BPL family.
The Government initially covered the following categories under the Scheme: –
- Beneficiaries on the 2011 SECC list
- Both beneficiaries of the SC / ST households of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)
- Anna Antyoday Yojana (AAY)
- Dwellers from the forest
- Most MBC (Backward Classes)
- Tea & Ex-Tea Tribes from the Greenhouse
- Residents of the Islands
- The people who live on the River Islands.
Advantages for citizens
- Under the Scheme, BPL households are to be provided with five crore LPG links. For each LPG link to the BPL households, the Scheme provides financial support of Rs 1600, interest-free loans to purchase stoves, and refilling by Oil Marketing Companies. The Government would be responsible for the administrative cost of Rs. 1600 per connexion, which includes a cylinder, pressure regulator, booklet, safety hose, etc.
Modalities of scheme implementation
- A woman from a BPL household who does not have access to an LPG connexion may apply to the distributor for a new LPG connexion (in the prescribed format).
- At the time of submitting the application form, the woman will provide an address, Jandhan or Bank account as well as Aadhar number (if the Aadhar number is not available, steps will be taken to issue the Aadhar number to the woman of the BPL household in coordination with UIDAI)
- The LPG Field officials will match the SECC-2011 database application and enter the information into a dedicated OMC Web portal through the login/password provided by the OMCs after determining their BPL status.
- OMCs will undertake the de-duplication exercise electronically and other due diligence measures for a new LPG connexion.
- The OMC shall issue a link to the qualifying beneficiaries (after completion of the various stages referred to above).
- While the Government would bear the connexion fees, the OMCs would provide an opportunity for the new consumer to opt for EMIs to cover the cost of a cooking stove and first refill if she so desires. The amount of the EMI may be recovered by the OMCs from the amount of the subsidy for each refill due to the consumer; if the State Government or a voluntary organisation or people wishes to contribute the price of the stove and the first refill. This will, however, be under the overall PMUY umbrella and no other name/tagline of the Scheme will be permitted without the express consent of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (Mop & NG)
- OMCs will also arrange Melas for the release of links to BPL families at different locations. In front of public representatives and distinguished personalities from the region, this will be done.
- Depending on the field situation, the Scheme will cover BPL families under all distribution forms and for different sizes of cylinders (such as 14.2 kg, 5 kg, etc.) depending on the field situation.
- Benefits under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana were expanded by considering them as ‘Priority States’ to individuals of all Hilly States, including the NE States.