Out of 16.5 crore LPG users, 1.13 crore people have given up their cooking gas subsidy as part of the ‘Give It Up’ programme of the government rolled out in March 2015. This has helped the government to save Rs 1100 crore in subsidies.
“We appealed to affluent Indians to give up their LPG subsidy voluntarily. Now we have an outreach programme to ensure people earning over Rs 10 lakh per month to give up subsidy” said Dharmendra Pradhan, minister of oil and natural gas.
This money will be used to provide LPG conections to poor families. As part of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, announced in the Budget on February 29, 5 crore LPG connections will be provided to BPL (below poverty line) families over the next 3 years. The cabinet recently set aside Rs 8000 crore for this scheme; of this Rs 2000 crore will come as budgetary support. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will officially launch the Ujjwala programme on May 1.
The scheme provides for a financial support of ₹1,600 for each LPG connection to the household. And an EMI facility will also be extended to families unable to bear the cost of buying new cylinders.
The ministry of petroleum and natural gas has already starting this LPG programme from April. “60 lakh families belonging to the BPL category have already got LPG connection under the Ujjwala programme” said Pradhan.
Critical to the success of this scheme is the distribution network of Oil marketing companies like Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, who have 17500 distributors strewn across the country. The oil ministry is ensuring that 10000 new distributors are identified this year to ensure smooth operation of the Ujjwala scheme.