PRADHAN MANTRI UJJWALA YOJANA (PMUY)

PRADHAN MANTRI UJJWALA YOJANA (PMUY)

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Why in News?  Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on approved a scheme to give free cooking gas connections to poor women.  
Background
  • Poor in India have limited access to Clean fuel (LPG).
  • Use of fossil fuels and conventional fuel like cow dung has a serious health implication for women and Children.  According to WHO estimates about 5 lakh deaths in India due to unclean cooking fuel.
  • Chullahs produce PM 2.5, particles under 2.5 microns that lodge in the lungs and cause cancer and TB.
  • Biomass smoke makes people blind. One NFHS study of women showed that blindness was 8,967 per lakh population in biomass homes compared with 6,152/lakh in cleaner-fuel homes. Indoor air pollution is responsible for significant number of acute respiratory diseases in young children.

Features

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  • This is the first ever welfare scheme by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
  • 5 Crore LPG connections will be provided to BPL families with a support of Rs 1600 each household in next three years.
  • About 1.50 Crore BPL families will be benefited under the scheme in the year 2016-17.
  • Connections will be given in the name of Women beneficiaries.
  • Identification of BPL families will be made in consultation with State Governments and Union territories. EMI Facility will be provided for meeting the cost of stove and refill cost.  

Benefits

india year book 2017
  • Providing LPG connections to BPL households will ensure universal coverage of cooking gas. It will reduce the serious health hazards associated with cooking based on fossil fuels
  • It will also be one more step towards empowerment of women and protect their health.
  • The scheme is also expected to provide employment to rural youth in supply chain.
  • It will also reduce rural female workload of collecting firewood, and reduce deforestation.
Challenges:
  • Each BPL household would have to spend up to Rs.5,000 each year on LPG even at current subsidised prices  in addition to a one-time cost of Rs.1,800 for the connection. This cost may be unaffordable to many.
  • Lack of distribution systems especially in rural areas.
  • There are many inclusion and exclusion errors in BPL lists as observed by various civil society members.
  • Also BPL is a narrow definition of deprivation and many non-BPL households may also not be able to afford LPG connections.