After early success, Modi govt’s Ujjwala scheme hits roadblock; beneficiaries not refilling cylinders

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Published: January 2, 2020 1:26:49 PM

Modi government’s flagship scheme Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) aimed at providing gas connections to women from poor households has hit a roadblock after initial success.

In FY19, more than twelve states are below the national average consumption of LPG refill cylinders of 6.25 cylinders (14.2 kg).

Modi government’s flagship scheme Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) aimed at providing gas connections to women from poor households has hit a roadblock after initial success. The usage pattern of LPG cylinders by beneficiaries indicates a steadily decline over the months, the government data showed. From 3.21 refills till December 2018 and 3.66 refills till March 2018, the annual average refill consumption has dropped to 3.08 cylinders in the 12 months to September 2019, the latest Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas data analysed by The Indian Express showed. In FY19, more than twelve states are below the national average consumption of LPG refill cylinders of 6.25 cylinders (14.2 kg).

The data by the government took into account the yearly refill consumption for the period of twelve months ranging from October 2018 to September 2019 of the beneficiaries of the scheme enrolled in the first two years of the launch.

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The scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 1, 2016, to distribute 50 million LPG connections to women of below poverty line (BPL) families. The states that show the decline in refill consumption patterns include Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana and Rajasthan among others. The government has always said that the target of providing 8 crore deposit-free LPG connections has been met seven months in advance on September 7, 2019.

Meanwhile, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has come across the gross misuse of PMUY. The audit report filed by the CAG showed several anomalies. The audit report which was tabled in the Parliament recently highlighted various deficiencies like the issuance of LPG connections by the LPG distributors to unintended beneficiaries, deficiencies in the LPG software of the oil marketing companies (OMCs) in the identification of intended beneficiaries and deficiencies in de-duplication process.

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