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Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana

The Pradhan Mantri Ujwala Yojna is an effective scheme to aid poor section of Indian society.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh. While launching this beneficial scheme, PM Modi said that the cooking gas scheme will benefit 5 crore families till 2019. "We have shown how the petroleum sector is for the poor."

The Pradhan Mantri Ujwala Yojna was started on 10 March 2016 by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs of Indian Government, which is regulated by Narendra Modi.

This programme is anticipated to be implemented over a period of three years, till fiscal 2018-19. Intent of this scheme is to make cooking gas (liquefied petroleum gas or LPG) available to women from families that are financially backward.

The scheme will look to implement the said programme on an emergency basis. The plan had been initially announced in the 2016-17 Union Budget by Arun Jaitley. The Union Finance Minister had reasoned that the programme was being shaped since poor women did not have any cooking gas.

It is estimated that the Pradhan Mantri Ujwala Yojana will assist approximately 1 crore 50 lakh households that presently live below the poverty line. The programme is also expected to cover five crore such households in all.

Main objectives of Pradhan Mantri Ujwala Yojana are mentioned below:
  1. Enhancing the status of women and caring their health.
  2. Help to decrease air pollution due to use of fossil fuel.
  3. Lessening the serious health risks related with cooking based on fossil fuels.
  4. Reducing the number of deaths due to unclean cooking fuels, which is about 5 lakh every year in India.
  5. Preventing young children from acute respiratory illnesses caused due to indoor air pollution by burning the fossil fuels.
  6. The scheme will be implemented by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.

Eligibility norms for Ujjwala Yojana:

The documentation of eligible BPL families will be made in consultation with the State Governments and the Union Territories. Only the women candidate from the BPL households is entitled to apply for the scheme.

Application Procedure for Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana:

  • The interested BPL applicants can apply for the Ujjwala Yojana by filling up the application form (in prescribed format) free of cost and submitting at the nearest LPG outlet/distribution centre.
  • The women applicant then need to fill her name, contact details, Adhar Number, Jan Dhan / Bank account number, other details and declaration form at the end of the application form.
  • Applicant can opt for any one of the two cylinder options i.e. 14.2KG or 5KG.
  • Candidates need to attach the required documents such as, copy of Aadhar card, bank account statement/passbook, residence proof in form of electricity / telephone / water bill or lease agreement or house registration document or flat allotment/possession letter.
  • Applicant have to submit the completed application form along with the attached documents at the preferred LPG outlet.
  • The applicant details will be matched against the SECC-2011 data for eligibility by LPG field officials.
  • Oil marketing company will then assume de-duplication exercise electronically and other measures for due diligence for a new LPG connection.
  • If the applicant is found to be eligible, the connection will be issued by the oil marketing company.
  • The cost of connection will be borne by the Government.
  • The applicants can also chose EMI option to cover the cost of stove and first refill of LPG cylinder.

Besides great benefits, this scheme has numerous challenges:

  • Main challenge is identification of poor household for allotment of free LPG connection in the absence of proper and authentic data.
  • Usage of socio economic caste census data may be misused by well offs or it remain poorly targeted.

To sum up, Pradhan Mantri Ujwala Yojna is one of the most important schemes to assist the unemployed or self-employed individuals of India. It is basically social welfare scheme to support poor section.