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PM Modi launches Ujjwala Yojana 2.0 – How it will benefit poor households?

PM Modi launches Ujjwala Yojana 2.0 – How it will benefit poor households?

Relevance:

  • GS 2 || Governance & Social Justice || Human Development || Concept of Development

Why in news?

PM Modi launches UjjwalaYojana 2.0, gives LPG connections to women in Mahoba.

Present Context:

  • On the 10th of August 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Pradhan MantriUjjwalaYojana 2.0, handing out LPG connections to women beneficiaries in Mahoba.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi remotely engaged with some of the UjjwalaYojana’s participants.
  • During the video conferencing session, 1,000 women received the UjjwalaYojana benefit.
  • The Prime Minister also met with Ujjwala beneficiaries at the occasion. Beneficiaries from Uttarakhand, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and other states spoke with PM Modi. He enquired about their previous experiences with LPG hookups.

Pradhan MantriUjjwalaYojana (PMUY)

  • The PMUY program began in 2016 and is managed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas’ Oil Marketing Companies.
  • PMUY was designed to provide deposit-free LPG connections to 5 crore below-poverty-line (BPL) families by March 31, 2019. This objective has been met.
  • What is Ujjwala 2.0 scheme?
    • Ujjwala is an Indian government initiative that offers LPG connections to low-income family households. Its goal is to equip rural families with clean cooking fuel, such as LPG.
    • It was initially introduced in 2016 as Ujjwala 1.0, with the goal of providing LPG connections to five crore women from BPL families.
    • Later, the program was expanded to include women from seven other categories.
    • The highly popular scheme has benefited over 14.6 million BPL families in Uttar Pradesh, 8.8 million in West Bengal, 8.5 million in Bihar, 7.1 million in Madhya Pradesh and 6.3 million in Rajasthan.
    • An extra one crore LPG connections under the plan have been announced in this year’s Union Budget (2021-2022).
    • These connections are intended to offer low-income families with deposit-free LPG connections who were not eligible under the previous phase of the initiative.

The journey from Ujjwala 1.0 to Ujjwala 2.0:

  • Encompass women: In April 2018, the Ujjwala 1.0 scheme was expanded to encompass women from seven more categories (SC/ST, PMAY, AAY, Most Backward Classes, Tea Garden, Forest Dwellers, and Islands), with the objective of providing LPG connections to 5 crore women from BPL families.
  • The target was also decreased to 8 million LPG connections. This objective was achieved seven months ahead of plan in August of this year.
  • The Union budget for FY 21-22 included a provision for an extra one crore LPG connections under the PMUY programme. These one crore additional PMUY connections (under Ujjwala 2.0) would give deposit-free LPG connections to low-income families who were previously ineligible for PMUY.
  • Ujjwala 2.0 will provide recipients with a deposit-free LPG connection, as well as a complimentary first refill and hotplate. Furthermore, just a little quantity of documentation will be required throughout the registration procedure.
  • Under Ujjwala 2.0, migrants will not be asked to provide ration cards or address verification. As both a “family declaration” and a “proof of address,” a self-declaration will suffice. Ujjwala 2.0 will help the Prime Minister achieve his aim of providing universal LPG access.

Objectives of Pradhan MantriUjjwalaYojana:

  • The Pradhan MantriUjjwalaYojana was established to provide clean fuel to low-income women. Human health is harmed by the use of dirty cooking fuel. The Pradhan MantriUjjwalaYojana has the following objectives:
    • To empower women while also safeguarding their health.
    • To reduce the health risks associated with cooking with dirty fossil fuels and other fuels.
    • To reduce indoor pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuels, which causes respiratory problems.
    • To avoid degrading the environment’s cleanliness, which has been harmed by widespread use of dirty cooking fuel.

What are the achievements of Pradhan MantriUjjwalaYojana?

  • India’s most successful programs:The initial goal of 5 crore connections was met far ahead of schedule, on March 31, 2019. According to the official website of the PMUY, the Ujjwala plan had given 64 million LPG connections by January 2019, making it one of India’s most successful and effective social sector programs.
  • Good development in the lives: The average per capita usage under the PMUY is 3.28 cylinders. This should be viewed as a good development in the lives of these families, who had previously relied on conventional cooking fuels and methods.
  • Safe and sustained LPG consumption: LPG Panchayats have been seen to encourage learning through peer group interaction – KuchSeekhein, KuchSikhayein – which seeks to promote safe and sustained LPG consumption in addition to experience sharing. To far, Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have held 59,960 LPG Panchayats and safety clinics for PMUY beneficiaries as part of their education and awareness campaigns.
  • Accessible for low-income households: To make LPG more accessible for low-income households, OMCs have offered a 5 kilo refill option for Ujjwala recipients, allowing them to switch their 14.2 kg cylinder for a 5 kilo refill and vice versa.
  • Reduce indoor health pollution: The World Health Organization (WHO) has praised PMUY implementation, describing it as a “decisive intervention” to reduce indoor health pollution among women in the country.

What are the significance of Pradhan MantriUjjwalaYojana?

  • Economic empowerment: Under this Scheme, LPG connections would be released in the name of women from BPL families, allowing for subsidy supply in the women’s account. Furthermore, utilizing LPG saves time for women since they do not have to acquire solid fuel and then utilize it for cooking, allowing them to use that time on other productive tasks.
  • Women’s empowerment: Ujjwala has empowered and safeguarded women and their families by helping to avoid a substantial number of acute respiratory diseases and other disorders via the use of clean burning fuel.
  • Health: According to research, persons who use solid biomass commonly have headaches, nausea, chronic bronchitis, and a variety of skin problems. Most rural women were affected by indoor air pollution and acute respiratory ailments as a result of it.
  • Youth employment: It will also create jobs for rural youth in the cooking gas supply chain. Working in the logistics and repair industries is an added bonus.
  • Environment: Eliminating the usage of firewood has a significant positive influence on forest cover and the environment.
  • Safety: Women who travel to the woods to collect firewood are frequently subjected to health and safety concerns, as well as sexual harassment. As a result of the LPG hookups, this has significantly diminished.

Few issues concerning the scheme:

  • Behavioural Constraints: It is difficult to give up age-old traditions of using traditional chulhas, and there is a dearth of understanding among people about the benefits of utilizing LPG gases.
  • Refilling and affordability: The number of LPG gas connections being refilled has decreased from 35000 in 2016-17 to 13000 in 2018. A number of issues about affordability were also mentioned, as well as a reluctance to adopt. While the number of LPG connections in India has risen by an astounding 16.26% since the plan began, the consumption of gas cylinders has only increased by 9.83%.
  • Inactive and corrupt accounts: Numerous inactive accounts were discovered, with some including fake beneficiaries who were utilizing LPG for commercial and lucrative reasons.

Conclusion:

The ‘Give it up’ campaign, the LPG Panchayat, and other initiatives have been successful in changing people’s minds. To avoid fraudulent accounts and unscrupulous exploitation of the system, rigorous beneficiary expansion and identification must be carried out.The government must assure and supply subsidy refills, as well as the ability and willingness of rural households to pay for them. This benefits their health and quality of life, as well as the quality of the air in cities. It’s a good investment for the community.

Mains oriented question:

What is the effectiveness of the Pradhan MantriUjjwalaYojana? Examine. Discuss its relevance as well. (200 words)