Union Petroleum and Naural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today launched the “extended Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana” in Bihar under which 8 crore LPG connections would be given to beneficiaries across the country. Earlier, the target under the Centre’s flagship scheme was to give 5 crore LPG connections across the country which was raised to 8 crore with additional allocation of fund in the current fiscal 2018-19.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who launched the scheme on May 1, 2016, from Ballia in Uttar Pradesh, has made the provision in this financial year’s budget to increase the target from 5 crore to 8 crore under Ujjwala yojana, Pradhan told reporters here. Buoyed by the success of the scheme in past two years, Pradhan said that 3.60 crore out of 5 crore LPG connections have been given in past two years in the country under the scheme. Of 3.60 crore connections, 50 lakh connections have been given under Ujjwala scheme in Bihar alone, he said. He said, “When we (NDA) took over the reins at the Centre, only 23 out of 100 households had LPG connections in Bihar.
The total number of LPG connections in Bihar was 48 lakh four years ago which has increased to 1.23 crore connections now.” Stating that there are 2.10 crore families in Bihar, he said that remaining 90 lakh families would be covered under the extended Ujjwala scheme which is almost moving towards becoming a universal scheme. The extended scheme was launched by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in the presence of union minister Ram Vilas Paswan and others.
Apart from those included under Socio-economic caste census (SECC) to avail the scheme, Pradhan said that “extended Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana” would now cover all SC/ST households, Most Backward Classes, beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin), Antyoday Anna Yojana, forest dwellers, people residing in river and river islands. Stating that around five lakh people lose their lives every year due to preparing food through traditional methods of wood, coal etc, he said that seven cylinders are used by the general households in a year whereas beneficiaries of Ujjwala scheme use 4.3 cylinders every year.