Why Ujjwala won't be affected as people reclaim LPG subsidy
Feeling the pinch after multiple increases in the prices of LPG gas cylinders, around 1.12 lakh people have sought to reclaim the subsidy, reports say.
However, this will have no impact on the Ujjwala initiative, where poor households get a free LPG connection, a scheme which is said to have been one of the major factors for the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party.
“The Ujjwala scheme gets funds directly from the government,” said a spokesperson of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, clarifying how there was no link between the two schemes. “The government has set aside Rs 8,000 crore for a period of three years for the Ujjwala scheme, which would benefit five crore families.”
Some advertisements for the Give it Up scheme, featuring photos of PM Modi, pegged it as a measure to provide free LPG connections to the poor. This had led to speculation that it was tied to the Ujjwala scheme. However, it seems this wasn't the case.
“Before Ujjwala was announced, several oil companies had a scheme where they were providing free LPG connections to poor families, funded partly by their Corporate Social Responsibility funds, and partially by the money which was being saved through the Give it Up Scheme,” the spokesperson explained.
More than 1.05 crore people have given up LPG subsidies since the Give it Up Scheme was announced. It is one of the most widely publicised initiatives by Prime Minister Modi.
Meanwhile, over two crore households have availed the Ujjwala scheme since it was first announced in Ballia in UP in May 2016. Under the scheme, women from Below Poverty Line households, identified through the 2011 socio-economic census data, could avail deposit-free LPG connections.
Recent data shows that Uttar Pradesh, with 5.1 million new subsidised LPG connections, tops the list of beneficiaries. West Bengal comes second with 1.96 million connections, followed by Bihar with 1.91 million connections, Madhya Pradesh with 1.88 million connections and Rajasthan with more than 1.53 million connections.