Not many takers in state for free LPG connections for poor

Why in News: The Centre’s flagship scheme to distribute free liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) connections to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, has received a lacklustre response in the state.pradhan-mantri-ujjwala-yojana-english

  • In the last one month, only about 50,000 BPL households have submitted applications to the three state-owned oil marketing companies — Indian Oil Corporation Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, seeking free LPG connections.
  • Free connections will be given in the name of woman member of the BPL families under the scheme, which was launched by the Centre in May this year.
  • The Centre is using money saved by it under the Give-It-Up scheme (giving up LPG subsidy on refill cylinder) to fund the scheme.
  • The beneficiaries under the scheme need not pay the deposit amount of Rs 1,600 for getting new connection. But the cost of refill cylinder and gas stove has to be borne by the beneficiary.
  • The oil companies, which are tasked with the responsibility of achieving 100% LPG coverage, are now in a fix as they are finding it tough to identify the beneficiaries.
  • As per the 2011 socio-economic caste census report, which is being used as the basis by the Centre to identify the beneficiaries under the scheme, Karnataka has 1.31 crore households.
  • Of these, about 42 lakh come under the BPL bracket. The report also says that the LPG coverage is 74.8 % in the state. The Centre has set a target for itself to achieve 100% LPG coverage in three years.

Reason:

  1. Discrepancy in the BPL data o
  2. The census report has become outdated.
  3. There is a possibility of large number of BPL families having obtained LPG connections much before the announcement of the scheme.
  • As per the data collected by the oil companies, Yadgir, Koppal and Bidar districts are at the bottom of the list of poor coverage of LPG in the state.
  • The oil companies have listed 13 districts where the coverage is low and, priority will be given families in these districts while issuing free connections. Kalaburagi, Raichur, Bagalkot, Gadag, Vijayapura, Haveri, Chikkaballapura, Tumakuru, Chitradurga and Chamarajnagar are the other districts in the list

About Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana:

  • It aims at Providing Free LPG connections to Women from BPL Households.
  • The scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. This is the first time in the history of the country that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas would implement a welfare scheme benefitting crores of women belonging to the poorest households.

Details:

  • Under the scheme, Rs 8000 crore has been earmarked for providing five crore LPG connections to BPL households. This Scheme would be implemented over three years, namely, the FY 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.
  • The Scheme provides a
    • financial support of Rs 1600 for
    • each LPG connection
    • to the BPL households.
  • The identification of eligible BPL families will be made in consultation with the State Governments and the Union Territories.
  • The scheme is being partly funded from the savings of the GiveItUp initiative.
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