Ujjwala scheme 2.0 beneficiaries to get free stove, refill
According to officials, under Ujjwala scheme 2.0, the Union government will distribute about 10 million gas connections this financial year to the poor along with a free refill and a stove
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the second version of Ujjwala free cooking gas connection scheme along with “a free refill and a stove” on Tuesday from Mahoba district of poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, in a bid to replicate the success of its first version that earned political goodwill for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2017 UP assembly elections, two people aware of the development said.
Under Ujjwala 2.0, the Union government will distribute about 10 million gas connections this financial year to the poor along with a free refill and a stove, they said, asking not to be named. About five years ago, ahead of the crucial UP polls, PM Modi launched the first version of the scheme (Ujjwala 1.0) in Ballia district on May 1, 2016.
Ujjwala 2.0 is also expected to give a free refill worth over ₹800 and a free stove, one of the people quoted above said. “Earlier under Ujjwala 1.0, only a deposit free LPG connection was provided to the beneficiary amounting to a financial assistance of ₹1,600, where beneficiaries also had an option to take loan at zero interest rate from the public sector oil marketing companies for the hot plate (stove) and the first refill,” the person added.
On Tuesday, the Prime Minister will also deliver a speech. The event will be attended by Union petroleum minister Hardeep Singh Puri and UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, a government spokesperson said.
The intent of the scheme was announced in this year’s annual budget. Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1 announced extending the scheme to 10 million new beneficiaries in 2021-22. “Ujjwala Scheme which has benefited 8 crores [80 million] households will be extended to cover 1 crore [10 million] more beneficiaries,” she said in her Budget speech.
Besides free first refill and a stove along with a deposit-free gas connection, the scheme in its new form will have a provision for online application. A migrant family can also get separate gas connections, the person said.
“Preference would be given to poor families belonging to the scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs) and also for families residing in areas with lower LPG [liquefied petroleum gas] penetration than the national or state average,” the person said.
Applicants will be required to fill a simplified know-your-customer (KYC) form, which would not require any notarised affidavit. Migrants can provide self-declaration if they don’t have a proof of address, the person added. People can apply online through the dedicated portal or common service centres, or through local gas agencies belonging to the state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) – Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd, the person said.
Ujjwala 1.0, also known as the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), was launched in 2016 to provide only deposit-free LPG connections to the women of poor households.
Initially, the target was set to provide 50 million LPG connections with the budgetary provision of ₹8,000 crore over a period of three years starting from FY 2016-17. Subsequently, considering the success of PMUY in providing access of clean cooking fuel and its resultant health, environment and economic benefits, the target was revised to 80 million connections with the total budget of ₹12,800 crore up to FY 2019-20, the second person said.
The target beneficiaries were initially selected from the Socio-Economic Caste Census of 2011 (SECC Data) and the scope was later expanded to more categories to include deprived women in poor households.
“The target to distribute 8 crore [80 million] LPG connections under the scheme was successfully accomplished in September 2019, seven months ahead of the target date. Implementation of PMUY has resulted in increase in national LPG coverage from 61.9% to 99.99 % as on July 1, 2021,” the person added.
As there has been a gap of about 18 months since the last connection under Ujjwala 1.0 was given, the petroleum ministry is using the term Ujjwala 2.0 for this phase of the scheme, the person said.