Aurangabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi handed over the 8 crore-th LPG connection under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) to Ayesha Sheikh Rafique of Aurangabad. Modi appreciated the collective efforts of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas and the Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) in achieving the target of 8 crores. The ministry and the OMCs have reached the target seven months before the set deadline.
‘A momentous occasion’
Describing it as a momentous occasion, he said that PMUY endeavours to fulfil the dream of Mahatma Gandhi to benefit the poorest of the poor and work towards an inclusive development blueprint. Prime Minister said that PMUY meets all the objectives of ‘Reform, Perform and Transform.’
LPG penetration stands at 96%
LPG penetration in the country has jumped from 55 percent in 2014 to over 96 percent now and almost 86 percent beneficiaries under the PMUY have been refilling the cylinders. In the first 50 years since LPG was introduced to India, only 13 crore connections were provided. In the last 60 months, 14 crore LPG connections have been provided by OMCs, under the aegis of the petroleum ministry.
Over 78 percent beneficiaries under the scheme, who could not afford to make an upfront payment for the purchase of a gas stove and first refill, were provided loan facility by OMCs. “It is significant to mention that for FY 2018-19, under the PMUY the average per capita consumption is three cylinders. This has brought about a positive change in the lives of these households which were long dependent on the traditional polluting cooking fuels and methods,” a press release said.
As on August 1, there are nearly 24,000 LPG distributorships on an industry basis. To make LPG affordable to poor families, OMCs have introduced 5 Kg refill option to Ujjwala beneficiaries wherein Ujjwala beneficiary can swap 14.2 Kg cylinder with 5 Kg refill and vice versa. 2.26 lakhs beneficiaries have taken advantage of this scheme as on September 1, the release added.