Why Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana is a good initiative

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) is aimed to cater LPG connections to BPL- Below Poverty Line families devoid of smokeless stoves for cooking. Since, India is an agriculture economy ans most of the people live in rural areas, they are forced to use solid fuels such as biomass, dung cake, wood etc. This low cost and primitive way of burning solid fuels for cooking and other works affects the health of whole family.

PMUY was announced in Budget 2016-17 by the Finance Minister allocating 2000 crore rupees for 2016-17 covering 1.5 crores households. It has been aimed to provide 60 per cent BPL households with subsidised LPG connections on the name of senior female member of the house. Total 8000 crore rupees has been earmarked to cover 5 crores households in next 3 years will be covered under PMUY to mitigate the use of solid fuels.

Why it should be implemented: 

Household Air Pollution (HAP) is the second leading factor contributing to unhealthy and ill India. According to WHO, solid fuels such as biomass, dung cakes and coal for cooking use are responsible for 13 percent of all morality and morbidity in India, and causes 40 percent of all pulmonary disorders, 30 percent of cataract incidences, over 20 percent each of ischemic heart diseases, lung cancer and respiratory infections, and over 5 lakh deaths. The ill effects of solid fuels on individual or rural people drain the savings and time in the treatment. Hence, the related issues can be mitigate or eliminated with successful implementation of this scheme at large scale.

What are the constraints: 

The first and the most important problem will arise to make rural and BPL households to move towards the use of LPG use in households and inculcate the benefits of using LPG. This will not be easy for the government to move people from primitive fuels to modern and smokeless LPG use.

Second challenge will be the financial one. Households have to spend 5000 rupees each year on subsidised LPG and 1800 rupees for one time connection. PMUY have offered installments of stoves and 1600 rupees support for LPG connection per households to challenge these issues. The other challenges will be Sustainable supply, push to meet increasing demand in rural areas, redistribution agencies in rural areas. Private distributors or agents generally do not show intention to supply LPG cylinders or correction in the rural areas. If this yojana manages to take on this challenge effectively, the new one will be the easily available of LPG connection with less red-tapism. Effective transfer of direct subsidy in the accounts of beneficiary.  ‘PAHAL’ has been proved to be the best DBT implemented scheme eliminating the pilferage and leakage in subsidy transfer.

How it can be successfully implemented: 

PMUY will also have to focus on awareness program to inculcate people understand the socio-economic benefits of this scheme. Money challenge can be solved through “Give it up” campaign by Narendra Modi in which more than 57 lakhs people have surrendered their subsidies saving over 15000 crores rupees last year. The subsidy has also been stopped for the earners of annual income more than 10 lakh. More awareness and push people to use smokeless kitchens.

This scheme should not only focus rural households but also urban households living below poverty line and not able to get LPG connection due to cumbersome procedure and corruption of private distributors. The scheme can be widened to cover non-BPL households also using solid fuels. This will help India to alleviate its carbon footprint and can move towards renewable energy goals by 2030.

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