New Delhi: State-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) have delivered 13 crore LPG refills under Ujjwala Yojana in the period between April and August this year, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas told the Lok Sabha in a written response recently. "Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have issued 1306.87 lakh LPG refills to PMUY beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) till August," said the minister. During the same period, OMCs have also transferred an amount of Rs 9,670.41 crore to PMUY beneficiaries under PMGKP for buying LPG refills.
While sharing figures on the status of LPG refills availed by Ujjwala beneficiaries, Pradhan said, "Average refill consumption of PMUY beneficiaries for the year 2019-20 was 3.01 cylinder of 14.2 kg. Adoption and use of LPG on sustained basis by a beneficiary of PMUY beneficiary household depends on several factors which include food habits, size of household, cooking habits, price of LPG, easy availability of free firewood and cow dung etc."
According to the data shared by the minister, Uttar Pradesh (UP) has delivered the highest number of LPG refills under Ujjwala Yojana at 2,58,12,057, followed by West Bengal at 1,65,21,610, Bihar at 1,44,39,342, and Rajasthan at 1,01,62,602. While Madhya Pradesh saw 98,07,942 refills, Odisha delivered 77,26,387 and Maharashtra 73,24,831.
The data comes months after the Cabinet approved a proposal to allow Ujjwala beneficiaries to avail free LPG refills for three more months under PMGKY on July 8. The low percentage of refills availed by Ujjwala beneficiaries under the scheme has been a major roadblock for the government in implementing the scheme successfully. While Ujjwala has undoubtedly led to an increase in LPG coverage — which has gone up from 56 percent in 2014-15 to 94 percent in September 2019, according to PPAC — the expansion is yet to translate in to regular LPG usage. According to 76th National Sample Survey, more than half of all rural households still do not use LPG as cooking fuel.
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