Millennium Post

Govt meets 5 crore free LPG line target 8 months before deadline

New Delhi: The government today gave out the 5-croreth free LPG connection, achieving the target almost eight months ahead of schedule.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan handed over papers for an LPG connection under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana -- which was launched on May 1, 2016 with a target to give 5 crore connections by March 2019 -- to a Muslim lady Takrdiran who is a resident of Sangam Vihar of the national capital.

Speaking on the occasion, Mahajan said the scheme has not just saved eyes and money of the poor women but also their "honour" as they would now not be required to venture into forests to collect firewood.

She, however, wanted more of 5-kg cylinders be given rather than 14.2-kg prevalent now to help poor buy the fuel.

Pradhan said the target has been achieved in 27 months instead of 35 months.

As many as 3 crore additional free cooking gas (LPG) connections will be given to poor households by March 2020, he said.

Under the scheme, the government provides a subsidy of Rs 1,600 to state-owned fuel retailers for every free LPG gas connection that they install in poor rural households. This subsidy is intended to cover the security fee for the cylinder and the fitting charges.

The beneficiary has to buy her own cooking stove. To reduce the burden, the scheme allows beneficiaries to pay for the stove and the first refill in monthly installments. However, the cost of all subsequent refills has to be borne by the beneficiary household.

Pradhan said the most number of LPG connections were given in Uttar Pradesh, where 87 lakh connections were released, followed by West Bengal (67 lakh), Bihar (61 lakh), Madhya Pradesh (45 lakh), Rajasthan (37 lakh) and Odisha (30 lakh).

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