Ujjwala beneficiaries get 6.8 crore free cylinders

NEW DELHI: Half-way through the free gas cylinder scheme, over 8 crore Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana beneficiaries have got 6.8 crore free LPG cylinders during April to mid-May, the oil ministry said on Thursday.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package for healing COVID pain of poor, the government had in March announced distribution of three 14.2-kg LPG cylinders free of cost to Ujjwala beneficiaries from April to June.
Three cylinders for eight crore beneficiaries translated into giving away of 24 crore cooking gas bottles for free.
“During April 2020, oil marketing companies (OMCs) have delivered 4.53 crore cylinders to PMUY beneficiaries under PMGKP. As on May 20, 2020, OMCs have delivered a totalof6.79 cylinders to PMUY beneficiaries under the package,” the ministry said a statement.
At this pace the total cylinders given away from April to June would be not more than 14 crores, a far cry from 24 crores provisioned for which the government had said Rs 13,000 crore would be spent.
The statement said beneficiaries got the cost of LPG refill in their accounts, which they used to buy cooking gas from local distributors.
“The beneficiaries were given funds in advance through direct benefit transfer (DBT) in their accounts so that there was no difficulty in availing this facility,” it said.
Supply chain personnel, it said, have not only been ensuring timely supply of cylinders but also creating awareness amongst the beneficiaries about the hygiene and various health guidelines.
As part of the economic response to COVID-19, the government on March 26 launched a pro-poor scheme ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package’ (PMGKP).
Under this scheme, theMinistry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is providing free of cost LPG cylinders to over 8 crore PMUY beneficiaries for 3 months with effect from April 1, 2020.
The government had given out over 8 crore free cooking gas connections to poor women particularly in the rural area since the launch of the Ujjwala scheme in 2016.

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