Data

Data | How effective has the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana been

The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana was launched in May 2016 to safeguard the health of women and children by providing them with a clean cooking fuel. | File

The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana was launched in May 2016 to safeguard the health of women and children by providing them with a clean cooking fuel. | File   | Photo Credit: Kamal Narang

Since the inception of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), LPG coverage grew at a quick pace and reached almost all households by April 2019. But a significant number of the scheme's BPL beneficiaries did not use the service beyond the initial refill, mostly due to economic reasons. As a result, a large number of dormant cylinders have been diverted for commercial use.

Household LPG connections grew at a sedate pace before PMUY was introduced in May 2016. Following the implementation of the scheme, overall household LPG coverage grew swiftly to reach 94.3% as on April 1, 2019

Coverage boost

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Despite wide coverage, LPG refills ordered by consumers have been constantly declining in recent years. In 2018-19, refills consumed on an average reduced to 2.98 instances per year from 3.4 per year in 2017-18. LPG consumption by BPL families with existing connections was estimated to be 3-4 refills per year.

Falling consumption

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Of the 3.18 crore PMUY consumers who had an LPG connection for one year or more as on December 31, 2018, 17.4% never ordered a second refill and 33.15% ordered only 1-3 refills per year. This indicates that more than half the beneficiaries consumed less than the national average of 3.21 reflills.

Meagre refills

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Even as half the beneficiaries ordered less than 4 refills a year, about 2.98 lakh customers with a single cylinder connection ordered 2 to 20 refills in a day. Such high level of consumption is impossible in a domestic connection and is only possible in commercial set-ups such as restaurants indicating that there might have been diversions of connections towards commercial use.

Towards commercial use

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A survey of 1,662 beneficiaries, conducted between April 2016 and December 2018, showed that 35.44% reverted to traditional fuels mainly due to higher price of LPG refills and easy availability of traditional fuel which is considered "unclean".

Back to the old ways

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 11:58:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/data/data-how-effective-has-the-pradhan-mantri-ujjwala-yojana-been/article30338388.ece

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