Context: Parliamentary committee’s observations on performance of the PM Ujjwala Yojana.

 Key observations:

  1. The government in September, 2019 met the target of eight crore LPG connections under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.
  2. But, only three States have become kerosene free. These include- Haryana, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh.
  3. Union Territories that have become kerosene-free are the Union Territories of Delhi, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Dadar & Nagar Haveli, Andaman & Nicobar Island and Puducherry.

Key issues and gaps highlighted by the Committee:

  1. The scheme is no longer running. The committee was upset at the closure of the scheme and said there was still a lot of ground to cover.
  2. There are poor households in the general category in urban and semi-urban localities that also need to be covered.
  3. Large segments of people in various States still depended on kerosene for cooking and household lighting.

What next?

  1. The scheme should be extended to poor households in urban and semi-urban slum areas.
  2. There is need for achieving a higher LPG coverage of the population by providing connections to households that do not have LPG.

About Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana:

Launched in May 2016.

Aim: To provide LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) connections to poor households.

Key features: A deposit-free LPG connection is given to eligible with financial assistance of Rs 1,600 per connection by the Centre.

Target: The scheme gained traction with its ambit being expanded to include 80 million poor families from the earlier target of 50 million families with an additional allocation of Rs4,800 crore.

Eligibility criteria:

  1. Applicant must a woman above the age of 18 and a citizen of India.
  2. Applicant should belong to a BPL (Below Poverty Line) household.
  3. No one in the applicant’s household should own an LPG connection.
  4. The household income of the family, per month, must not exceed a certain limit as defined by the government of the Union Territories and State Government.
  5. Applicant must not be a recipient of other similar schemes provided by the government.

Objectives of the scheme are:

  1. Empowering women and protecting their health.
  2. Reducing the serious health hazards associated with cooking based on fossil fuel.
  3. Reducing the number of deaths in India due to unclean cooking fuel.
  4. Preventing young children from significant number of acute respiratory illnesses caused due to indoor air pollution by burning the fossil fuel.
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