The government has increased the subsidy provided to poor women who received free cooking gas connections under the Ujjwala Yojana.
The subsidy has been raised from Rs 200 per 14.2-kg cylinder for up to 12 refills per year to Rs 300 per cylinder. This move is expected to benefit 9.6 crore families.
In late August, ahead of assembly elections in five states, including Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, the government reduced the price of cooking gas by Rs 200 per cylinder. As a result, the price of an LPG cylinder decreased to Rs 903.
Ujjwala beneficiaries pay Rs 703 for a cylinder of LPG, which includes a subsidy of Rs 200. This subsidy is directly deposited into the bank accounts of the connection holders.
Ujjwala beneficiaries will now pay Rs 603 for a 14.2-kg LPG cylinder, thanks to an increase in subsidy.
The increase in subsidy is seen as a strategic move to address the criticism by the Opposition parties and reduce the impact it may have on the government.
This also comes as parties like Congress have promised to provide LPG cylinders at Rs 500 if they come into power.
In the fiscal year 2022-23, a total of Rs 6,100 crore was allocated for the Ujjwala subsidy. This amount has been increased to Rs 7,680 crore for the current fiscal year of 2023-24 (April 2023 to March 2024).
Eligible beneficiaries receive the subsidy directly in their bank accounts.
By providing targeted support to consumers of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), the aim is to encourage them to consistently utilise LPG.
The consumption of LPG among PMUY consumers has increased by 20 per cent from 3.01 refills in 2019-20 to 3.68 in 2021-22.
All beneficiaries of PMUY are eligible for the targeted subsidy.
In May 2016, the government launched the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana to provide deposit-free LPG connections to adult women in rural and deprived poor households, with the aim of making LPG accessible as a clean cooking fuel.
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