States can join Ujjwala Yojana but with riders: Oil Ministry

DEBABRATA DAS RICHA MISHRA New Delhi | Updated on January 17, 2018


Centre wants State schemes to be subsumed under Ujjwala brand

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is open to let the State government schemes become part of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. But, with a caveat that the State schemes will be subsumed under the Ujjwala brand.

Already, Chhattisgarh has decided to be part of the scheme which would mean Ujjwala beneficiaries can get LPG connections at only ₹200.

“If they (state governments) can join the scheme, then I don’t have an issue. However, Ujjwala will remain the branding. It will be open for all but the Ujjwala brand will not be diluted,” Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas told BusinessLine.

Under Ujjwala, the Centre has decided to bear ₹1,600 out of the total cost of ₹3,200 for LPG connections. This scheme is only for the women members of below poverty line families.

In other States, BPL families pay ₹1,600 through an easy monthly instalment scheme. However, according to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, the State government will bear ₹1,400 of the LPG connection cost, which means BPL families pay only ₹200.

The mineral-rich Chhattisgarh is using the proceeds of the District Mineral Foundation to provide the subsidy over and above the Ujjwala sanctioned amount.

“So far we have collected ₹500 crore under the District Mineral Foundation. The annual proceeds are supposed to be ₹1,100 crore,” Singh had said.

The Ujjwala scheme aims to provide LPG connections to five crore BPL families by 2019-20. In 2016-17, the target is to provide the connections to 1.5 crore families. The connections are given in the names of the women family members and the subsidy amount is transferred in the bank accounts under their names. The scheme is partially funded by the savings from the one crore LPG subscribers who gave up the subsidy. The Union Budget also provided for ₹2,000 crore for the Ujjwala Yojana.

At the Inter-State Council Meeting on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told state government representatives, “The Union Government will provide five crore new cooking gas connections over the next three years. The supply of LPG will further increase.”

Since being launched by the Prime Minister on May 1, already 14.13 lakh connections have been released to women of BPL families under the Ujjwala scheme. The programme is currently under operation in 487 districts of 17 States.

Published on July 17, 2016

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