On May 1, 2016, the Narendra Modi-led government introduced a beneficial social scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. On realising that out of the 24 crore households in the country, 10 crore households were using harmful fossil fuels and dung to cook, the government decided to offer financial support to households below the poverty line for LPG cylinders. Launched in Uttar Pradesh, the scheme has quickly caught the attention of the whole country. To make this a success, Prime Minister Narendra Modi even requested well-off families in the country to give up their subsidized LPG connections in the “Give-it-up” campaign, as the focus of the subsidized LPG was for the backward classes in the country. Since its inception, the government has set aside Rs.2,000 crore for the campaign, and has distributed 1.5 crore subsidized LPG connections. To boost the campaign in the coming years, the government is all set to allocate Rs.8,000 crore for the scheme - as their goal is to distribute 5 crore LPG connections across the country in the next three years.
Objectives of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
With women being the primary victims, as they are at the receiving end of using harmful fossil fuels, the objectives of the scheme are stated below:
- The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana is a sort of women empowerment and aims at protecting their health. By giving the LPG connections, women no longer need to use impure fossil fuels, dung cakes and so on, that in the past have given them serious respiratory illnesses.
- The aim is also to reduce the amount of deaths caused by using such fossil fuels. Cases such as kerosene cylinders exploding while cooking has been an age old story, and the government wants to do away with such incidents. A reported 5 lakh deaths are caused each year from cylinder explosions.
- Preventing the number of respiratory cases amongst children - caused by the burning of impure fossil fuels indoors.
- Reduce air pollution.
How to Apply for Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
For women in households below the poverty line, here is what they have to do to apply for the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana:
- The application form for the PMUY scheme is available at all LPG distributors across the country.
- On the application form, women candidates have to enter their basic details such as their name, address, phone number and bank account details.
- Along with the application form for the PMUY scheme, subscribers have to attach the following documents:
- Below poverty line certificate that has been issued by the municipality or the Panchayat.
- They have to attach their below poverty line ration card that has been issued for women.
- Next, they have to submit any Photo ID card - Voter’s ID card, Aadhaar card Passport, etc.
- Along with the documents they need to submit a recent passport size photograph.
- Lastly, the applicant needs to select whether they would like to have a 5 kg or a 15.2 kg LPG cylinder.
- For those who have access to the internet, they can download the form from this link - https://indane.co.in/documents/Ujjwala-application-form-(English).pdf
Eligibility Criteria for Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
Like most schemes, the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana too has an eligibility criteria:
- Women applying for the PMUY scheme have to be from the below-the-poverty-line class.
- The woman applicant should be above the age of 18 years
- She should be listed under the SECC-2011 data of the Oil marketing companies.
- Any woman applying for the PMUY scheme has to have a savings bank account in any of the nationalized banks across the country.
- For women subscribing for the PMUY scheme, they should not already have an existing LPG connection.
- The subscriber should be a citizen of India.
- Women applicants should not have any other similar beneficial schemes under their name.
- Women belonging to the SC/ST groups will be under the priority list when applying for the PMUY scheme.
- Also, women living in states that have low LPG coverage will be given priority when applying for the scheme.
Outcome of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
As of November 2016, listed below in the table are the number of households across the country that have benefited from the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana scheme.
|State||Number of Connections Released(Approx.)|
|Utttar Pradesh||34 Lakh|
|Madhya Pradesh||13 Lakh|
|West Bengal||7 Lakh|
|Tamil Nadu||1.4 Lakh|
Since the PMUY scheme has been an initiative not only by the government of India, but by India’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, the government has given the Ministry the responsibility of verifying the applications. Along with a financial support of Rs.1,600 given to each subscriber of the PMUY scheme, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has given subscribers the possibility of facilitating the use of EMIs if they wish to buy a stove or accessories. On top of this, the government has requested individuals or private sector organisations to contribute towards the scheme, to aid the women population belonging to the backward classes of the country. Lastly, the government has encouraged the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to raise awareness for the scheme by giving free lunches for the poor, and simultaneously have a section dedicated to enrolling subscribers for the PMUY scheme.