- The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas launched PMUY in 2016 to provide clean cooking fuel to poor households.
- It aims to provide 8 crore deposit free LPG connections to poor households. The connections are issued in the name of women of the households.
- The scheme increases the usage of LPG and helps in reducing health disorders, air pollution and deforestation. Use of fossil fuels and conventional fuel like cow-dung, firewood etc. has serious implications on the health of rural women and children.
- Initially, the beneficiaries were identified through Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC), 2011 data. The scope of PMUY has now been expanded to cover all the poor families in the country subject to fulfilling the terms and conditions.
- Under the scheme, cash assistance of Rs. 1600 is given to the beneficiaries to get a deposit-free new connection. Further, interest free loans are provided to purchase a stove and refill by Oil Marketing Companies.
- Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the second phase of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana – Ujjwala 2.0.
- During Ujjwala 1.0, launched in 2016, a target was set to provide LPG connections to 5 crore women members of BPL households. Later, the target was revised to 8 Crore LPG connections which was achieved in August 2019.
- In the Union budget for Financial Year 2021-22, a provision for an additional one crore LPG connection under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana was announced. These one crore additional connections under Ujjwala 2.0 aim to provide deposit-free LPG connections to those low-income families who could not be covered under the earlier phase of this scheme.
- Along with a deposit free LPG connection, Ujjwala 2.0 will provide first refill and hotplate free of cost to the beneficiaries.
Why in News?
- According to an Right to Information (RTI) response from oil marketing firms, in the last financial year, 90 lakh beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana did not refill their cylinders. And over 1 crore beneficiaries refilled their cylinders only once.
- As per a reply filed by the government in Lok Sabha, in March this year, the LPG consumption under the Ujjwala Yojana remains 3.66 refills per connection annually.
- These figures should also take into account the fact that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the government provided up to three free of cost LPG refills to PMUY beneficiaries from April 1, 2020 and this was extended up to December 31 2020.