The Union Cabinet has approved the increase in the target for the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), to provide cooking-gas connections to rural women from the earlier 5 crore to 8 crore, with an additional allocation of Rs. 4,800 crore.
In the previous year, the Central Government has provided LPG(Liquefied Petroleum Gas) connections to more than 3 crore women living below poverty line (BPL) and this year, the Centre intends to increase the number to 8 crore.
Union Cabinet decision has come in the wake of thehuge response to PMUY from the women, particularly in rural areas and to cover those households, which are not having LPG connections.
While expanding the target, the government has also addressed the practical difficulties faced while implementing the scheme, to ensure that people who are genuinely poor households left out of Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) list are also included in the scheme.
Now, the revised target of PMUY will be achieved by 2020.
The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) is a social welfare scheme which was launched in May 2016 from Ballia in Uttar Pradesh.
Under the scheme, The government is aimed at providing LPG connections to women from BPL households in the country and cash assistance is given to the beneficiaries to get a deposit-free LPG connection.
The Scheme provides a financial support of Rs. 1600 for each LPG connection to the BPL households.
Women, who cook with wood and other harmful and slow fuels, living in both urban and rural areas will get LPG connection which is more efficient and will prevent lung disease as well.
Besides ensuring good health, the scheme will ensure universal coverage of cooking gas in the country. The scheme will also provide employment opportunities for rural youth, in the supply chain of cooking gas.
The original target has been increased to 8 crore as a result of efficient scheme implementation and better monitoring of the scheme. Till date 3,36,15,860 crore connections have been released across all states/UTs. In total, more than 4.65 crore applications have been received and initial allocation for PMYU was Rs. 8000 crore. The move will empower women and protect their health by reducing pollution levels and time spent on cooking.