Economy

PM launches mega scheme to give 5 crore gas connections free to BPL families

Debabrata Das Ballia (UP) | Updated on January 20, 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi presents cooking gas connection to a woman of Below Poverty Line (BPL) family during a launch of "Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana" in Ballia on Sunday. PTI

Part funded from savings of LPG subsidy ‘GiveItUp’ campaign

A year and two months back the Narendra Modi government had rolled out ‘GiveItUp’ initiative — well off cooking gas users voluntarily giving up their LPG subsidy — and today, the Prime Minister launched the ₹8,000-crore Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana scheme at Ballia.

The PMUY, which is being partly funded from the savings of ‘GiveItUp’ initiative will provide five crore free LPG connections to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families in the next three financial years.

Launching the scheme on a rather hot Sunday amidst a gathering of 50,000 to 100,000 people, Modi was quick to point out that the scheme in Ballia was not to be seen as part of the campaign for the state legislative Assembly elections to be held in 2017. “I selected Ballia because the average LPG penetration in BPL households is lower than even that in Uttar Pradesh. In Ballia, on an average only eight out of 100 BPL families have LPG connections,” said Modi.

Discounted connections

The scheme has been so proposed that BPL families do not have to pay ₹1,600 per connection for the administrative cost, pressure regulator booklet and safety hose. The connections would be given to the BPL households and the LPG subsidy amount for refills will be deposited in the Jan Dhan Accounts of the women members.

In the 2016-17 fiscal, 1.5 crore BPL families will be provided the discounted connections. The government will identify the BPL families through the Socio-Economic Caste Census of 2011.

Modi also criticised the slow pace of rolling out LPG connections by past governments. “In 60 years, a total of 13 crore households were given LPG connections. In one year alone, we gave LPG connections to three crore households.”

The Prime Minister also touched upon the work done by his government for rural electrification in Uttar Pradesh. Modi said that within 250 days, 1,326 villages in Uttar Pradesh have seen supply of electricity starting through the construction of electricity poles and power lines.

“Work in the remaining villages (213) is progressing and will be completed soon,” he said.

With the launch being on Labour Day, Modi also reminded the public of the initiatives taken by the government for the labour force of the country. “We have brought about a change in the labour laws... 30 lakh labourers were provided with a monthly pension of over ₹ 1,000... Bonus Act was amended to increase the minimum bonus to ₹7,500,” he said.

Modi called for a tweaking of the Communist Manifesto rallying cry, ‘Workers of the world unite’.

He said, “For the 21st century, the slogan should be Workers of the world, unite the world because it is only their hard work that can unite the world.”

Published on May 01, 2016

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