The scheme was criticised for providing free LPG connections to those poor households that could not afford a refill. But the latest data shows more than 82% beneficiaries have sought refill of their cylinders.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY)! Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar have received maximum benefit from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mission to provide clean cooking fuel to poor households. India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh has received over 1 crore LPG connections under the scheme which was launched less than three years ago.
According to latest data, more than 1.26 crore poor families have received free gas connections under the scheme in Uttar Pradesh, followed by West Bengal (78.47 lakh), Bihar (77.51 lakh), Madhya Pradesh (63.31 lakh) and Rajasthan (55.34 lakh) gas connections.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the ambitious scheme in May 2016 to provide clean cooking fuel to 5 crore poor families. However, the target was later revised to provide 8 crore free LPG connections.
The successful implementation of this scheme is crucial for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bid seeking a second term for himself in the Lok Sabha elections due in April-May this year as most of the beneficiaries come from poor and downtrodden families that form the biggest chunk of Indian electorates.
Nearly 70,000 free gas connections are being issued daily under the scheme, which has increased the LPG coverage in the country to 93% in 2019 as against 55% coverage in 2014. Over 40% beneficiaries of the scheme belong to SC/ST sections of the society.
Earlier the scheme was criticised for handing out free LPG gas connections to those poor households that were not in a position to afford a refill. However, the latest official data shows that over 82% beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana have opted for refill of their cylinder. And average rate of refill under the scheme is 6.5 cylinders per beneficiary.
More than 7 crore free LPG connections have been issued under the scheme so far.