Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana Current Affairs

Government launches Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas launched country-wide Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat scheme to distribute LPG connections among rural areas where conventional fuel is used for domestic purposes.

The scheme was launched by Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan at Mota Ishanpur village in Gandhinagar district in Gujarat. It is backup scheme to existing Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.

LPG Panchayat scheme

The LPG Panchayat scheme aims at spreading awareness among LPG users about how to properly use clean fuel and its useful benefits. It will provide platform to trigger discussion through sharing of personal experiences on benefits of use of clean fuel compared to traditional fuels like cowdung, charcoal or wood.

It also aims to connect with beneficiaries of Ujjwala Yojana to resolve issues and wrong traditional beliefs among people through officials of oil PSUs, NGOs, Asha workers and social workers. Under it, one lakh LPG Panchayats will be activated across country to deal with issue of safe use of LPG as well as discuss its various benefits on environment, health and how it empowers women.

LPG Panchayat will serve as an interactive platform between those who received LPG cylinders under PMUY. One panchayat will have around 100 LPG customers of nearby areas. The panchayats discuss issues such as safe practices, quality of service provided by distributors and availability of refill cylinders.

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India becomes World No.2 LPG importer

India has become world’s second largest LPG importer, a position that was previously occupied by Japan. China remains as the world’s top importer. According to Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell, LPG imports in the country has increased 23% during the financial year 2016-2017 to about 11 million tonnes.

The main reason behind the increase in the consumption of LPG in India is due to the two government schemes coupled with free gas connections. From May 2016, the government is providing free cooking gas connections to women from extremely poor households, to reduce the use of polluting fuels such as wood and dried cow dung. This has increased India’s active LPG users to about 200 million, which is 60% more than Japan’s entire population. According to the World Health Organization, polluting fuels used for cooking purposes results in 1.3 million premature deaths in India every year.

India has set an ambitious target of increasing LPG usage to cover 80% of the households by March 2019. As per the present estimates of the oil ministry, demand for fuel will touch 35 million tonnes by 2031-32 in India.

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY)

PMUY was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2016 with the tagline of Swachh Indhan, Behtar Jeevan. The scheme’s motive is to provide free of cost LPG (cooking gas) connections to women from BPL Households.

The scheme seeks to empower women and protect their health by shifting them from traditional cooking based on unclean cooking fuels or on fossil fuels to clean cooking gas. It is being implemented by Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. The scheme will be implemented over three years’ time period until the financial year 2018-19.

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