Cabinet approves expansion of Ujjwala Yojana to 7.5 mn more connections

The decision to expand the scheme was announced last month when the government had slashed the price of cooking gas by Rs.200 for all connections


Subhayan Chakraborty New Delhi

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The Cabinet approved the expansion of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) on Wednesday, allocating 7,500,000 new Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) connections over a three-year period until the financial year 26 (FY26). Costing Rs 1,650 crore, this expansion will elevate the total number of PMUY beneficiaries to 103.5 million.

The government announced this extension after reducing the price of cooking gas by Rs 200 across all markets last month. In May 2022, a targeted subsidy of Rs 200 per 14.2 kg cylinder had been set for 90 million PMUY beneficiaries, applicable for up to 12 refills in the financial year 23 (FY23). This subsidy was later extended for another year in March, costing an additional Rs 7,680 crore.

Data from the Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell indicate that LPG penetration reached 99.9 per cent in 2022, largely due to the PMUY scheme. As of April 1, there were 314 million households in India with LPG connections. About 90 per cent of LPG was consumed by households, 8 per cent by industrial users, and the remaining 2 per cent by vehicles last year.

Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) sold nearly 29.34 million metric tonnes of LPG in FY23. Approximately 86.5 per cent of this was directed towards the domestic sector, marking a 95 per cent increase in India’s LPG consumption from 14.8 crore in 2014-15.

The Petroleum Ministry has cleared all pending PMUY applications, ensuring deposit-free LPG connections for all eligible households.

On a global scale, according to the World Health Organisation, about one-third of the population — roughly 2.4 billion people — rely on open fires or inefficient stoves fuelled by kerosene, biomass, or coal for cooking. This led to an estimated 3.2 million deaths in 2020, including over 237,000 children below the age of five.

First Published: Sep 13 2023 | 8:37 PM IST

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