Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana

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    • Recently, ahead of Assembly elections, Gujarat cuts VAT on CNG & PNG to give two free cylinders to Ujjwala beneficiaries.

    About Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana

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    • In 2016, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MOPNG) introduced the ‘Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana’ (PMUY).
      • The scheme was launched from Ballia, Uttar Pradesh.
    • It is a flagship scheme with an objective to make clean cooking fuel such as LPG available to the rural and deprived households which were otherwise using traditional cooking fuels such as firewood, coal, cow-dung cakes etc.

    Need of the scheme?

    • Usage of traditional cooking fuels had detrimental impacts on the health of rural women as well as on the environment.
    • According to WHO estimates about 5 lakh deaths in India alone due to unclean cooking fuels.
      • Most of these premature deaths were due to non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. 
    • Indoor air pollution is also responsible for a significant number of acute respiratory illnesses in young children.
    • According to experts, having an open fire in the kitchen is like burning 400 cigarettes an hour.

    Significance of the scheme

    • Providing LPG connections to BPL households will ensure universal coverage of cooking gas in the country. 
    • This measure will empower women and protect their health
    • It will reduce drudgery and the time spent on cooking
    • It will also provide employment for rural youth in the supply chain of cooking gas.

    Source: TH