PM hands over LPG connections to BPL families
On the occasion of dedication ceremony of IndianOil’s Paradip Refinery to the Nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has released LPG connections to beneficiaries in the below poverty line (BPL) segment. Under the “GiveBack” scheme, he handed over the LPG connection documents to Khulana Mohanty, Sanjukta Behera and Bharati Behera to mark the occasion.
Besides this the oil marketing companies (OMCs) had also put a separate camp wherein about 75 “Give Back” beneficiaries were handed over new LPG connection documents. The dedication of IndianOil’s Paradip Refinery, also witnessed the release of 2000 new connections to BPL families by OMCs under the “Give Back” scheme through their distributorship network spread across the state of Odisha. Till now the OMCs have released about 4.5 lakh LPG connections to BPL beneficiaries in Odisha under “Give Back” scheme.
This has come after the Prime Minister’s appeal to give up their LPG subsidy. The appeal has borne fruit as evident from the latest figures which show that as many as 68 lakh people have already given up their LPG subsidies since his first appeal in March 2015. He had promised that the subsidy savings would be utilised “to give back LPG connections to poor families.” Till now, 57 lakh families falling under BPL category on an all India level have received LPG connections under “Give back” scheme.
The Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas (Independent Charge), Dharmendra Pradhan, who has played a key role in implementing the scheme, was also present on the occasion. Terming it as an innovative way of governance, MoS (I/C) said that the initiatives taken by Petroleum Ministry in 2015 have enhanced coverage of LPG and extended better services to customers. All the policy initiatives implemented by the government in LPG sector have taken country closer to the target of achieving 75% LPG penetration, he added. Earlier, he had declared 2016 as ‘Year of the LPG consumer’ on 1st January 2016 at the launch of ‘1906’: the 24x7 LPG Emergency Helpline.
The “Give Back” campaign also engages the corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds of the major oil PSUs to provide the upfront costs for the regulator and cylinder deposit. Without these, many BPL families would not be able to take advantage of the subsidy due to lack of upfront capital for LPG equipment.
Interestingly, the campaign is also supporting eradication of one of the most significant public health cause of India. The indoor air pollution created by ‘traditional” fuels such as wood, dung, crop residues and coal is now recognised as among the top health risk factors in the country, particularly for women and children.
The detrimental fallout of indoor air pollution is ranked well above child malnutrition, unsafe water and sanitation, and smoking. The “Give Back” scheme targets to benefit the poor who remain dependent on polluting cooking fuels. The offshoot of “Give Back” scheme has resulted in adoption of “Smokeless Villages” by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. and as on date, IndianOil has converted over 1200 villages as “Smokeless Villages”.