Pradhan lauds LPG connection to rural women
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley chose to address the social healthcare segment in Budget 2016. He announced that the government will provide LPG connection in the name of women in rural households and Rs 2,000 crore will be allotted for this.
“We have decided to embark on a massive mission to provide LPG connection in the name of women members of poor households. I have set aside a sum of Rs 2,000 crore in this year's Budget to meet the initial cost of providing LPG connections. This will benefit 1.5 crore households below the poverty line in 2016-17.”
Apart from this, the government will provide rural employment in supply chain of delivering LPG gas. “The scheme will continue for at least two years to cover a total of 5 crore BPL (Below poverty line) households. This will ensure universal coverage of cooking gas in the country. The measure will empower women and be beneficial to their health. It will reduce drudgery and the time spent in cooking. It will also help in providing employment to the rural youth (who will be engaged) in the supply chain of cooking gas,” added Jaitley.
This comes as good news for people in rural areas, who till now use firewood and rudimentary cooking methods that cause several diseases.
MoS (Independent Charge ) Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan has hailed the move, terming it a “ historic Budget announcement”. “The scheme, Ujjwala, will not only render immense health benefits to women and their children by providing a clean cooking fuel, but providing significant ecological dividends. According to WHO estimates, 5 lakh women die in India due to the use of unclean cooking fuel.
Most of these premature deaths are due to non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer,” he said. Thanking the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister, he said, “This is a wonderful Budget gift from Prime Minister to women, particularly in rural areas. This is the first time in the history of the country that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas would implement a welfare scheme benefitting crores of rural women.”
“The government will provide concession of Rs 1,600 to over five crore BPL families to get cooking gas connections in next three years. The Finance Minister has announced the scheme in his Budget speech,” Pradhan said.
The minister also informed that average price of single cylinder LPG connection across all the states is Rs 3,400. Pradhan said we have been providing LPG connections to the BPL families on concessional rates from the fund collected through CSR initiatives.