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President to host PM's LPG panchayat on Tuesday

February 12, 2018 11:25 IST

Over 100 beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana from 20 states will share with the LPG panchayat their experiences of how clean cooking fuel has changed their lives, in the presence of President Ram Nath Kovind. 

President Ram Nath Kovind has stepped in to promote the idea of safe and efficient use of liquefied petroleum gas. 

Rashtrapati Bhavan will host the Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat on Tuesday. Over 100 beneficiaries of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government’s flagship scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), from 20 states will share their experiences of how the clean cooking fuel has changed their lives, in the presence of President Ram Nath Kovind. 

 

So far more than 33.6 million LPG consumers across 712 districts have been registered under the ambitious scheme. The event will be hosted at the Durbar Hall and will also have distributors, manufacturers, ministry officials and oil-marketing firms, and women representatives of Parliament. Health experts have also been invited to the event, at which Kovind is likely to deliver a pep talk.  

The LPG Panchayat, which was launched in September in Gandhinagar, is aimed at driving rural households to adopt LPG. 

“We are looking to spread awareness among LPG users on using the clean fuel. The plan is to conduct 100,000 LPG panchayats across the country, dealing with the issue of safe use of LPG as well as its various benefits, such as environment, health, and how it empowers women,” said an official of an oil-marketing company. 

This comes almost two weeks after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley extended the target of the Ujjwala scheme from 50 million to 80 million, allotting another Rs 48 billion to the scheme. 

“The scheme will now include close to 10 million beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin), all Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe population even if not below poverty line,” said Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. 

Before the Budget, the government had allocated Rs 80 billion as budgetary support through which each family was receiving Rs 1,600. The PMUY, launched on May 1, 2016, in Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh, was turned out to be the most successful social sector scheme of the current government and was instrumental for its election victories in states such as Uttar Pradesh. 

However, the refilling rate among PMUY consumers is comparatively low at 3.8 cylinders per year, versus 7.76 by a normal consumer. 

After the launch of the PMUY, LPG consumption witnessed an increase of 10 per cent to 21.5 million tonnes during 2016-17, compared to the previous year.

 

Shine Jacob in New Delhi
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