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Govt says 86% Ujjwala beneficiaries came back for a second refill

The average LPG cylinder refill rate under Ujjwala has been a dampener in a scheme that has otherwise done quite well in terms of delivering results on the ground
New Delhi: Oil Marketing companies have reported that nearly 86 percent of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) beneficiaries, who are at least one year old, have returned for a second refill, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday. In a written response filed in the Lok Sabha, Pradhan said, “OMCs have reported that average per capita consumption of PMUY beneficiaries is around 4.87 cylinders.  The use of LPG by PMUY beneficiary household depends on several factors which include food habits, cooking habits, availability and accessibility to LPG, price of LPG, free availability of firewood, cow dung etc. In order to encourage the PMUY beneficiaries to adopt and use LPG on sustained basis, OMCs have adopted a number of measures.”

Refill ratio has been low

The average LPG cylinder refill rate under Ujjwala has been a dampener in a scheme that has otherwise done quite well in terms of delivering results on the ground. As of now, the refill rate stands at a paltry 3 cylinders per annum in comparison to the national average of seven refills in a year. In order to address this, OMCs have come up with a number of steps like offering swap facility, i.e. to provide small 5 kg cylinder against 14.2 kg cylinder as per the requirement, conducting Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat to educate beneficiaries of the benefits of sustained use of LPG and its safe usage, launching audio-visual media campaign to spread awareness on the advantages, starting a targeted SMS campaign to reach to beneficiaries who have not come back for refill and display campaign by way of banners, standees and hoardings at public places.

The backdrop

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had acknowledged the success of Ujjwala in May 2018 when it said, “Countries are taking measures to tackle and reduce air pollution from particulate matter. For example, in just two years, India’s Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana Scheme has provided some 37 million women living below the poverty line with free LPG connections to support them to switch to clean household energy use.” OMCs have given instructions to their LPG distributors to release LPG connections after satisfying and meeting all the safety norms for installation of LPG connections, Pradhan said.