On August 10, prime minister Narendra Modi launched Ujjwala 2.0, a scheme to distribute up to one crore free gas connections to poor households that don’t have one. In parallel, the price of a gas cylinder reached an all-time high of Rs 859.50 on August 17.
In this piece, we will discuss how the faltering economy is forcing the government to sabotage the success of one of its signature welfare schemes: Ujjwala.
Ujjwala 2.0 is the successor to Ujjwala 1.0, one of Modi’s most popular and well-received schemes in his first term, under which the central government distributed over eight crore free LPG connections from 2016 to 2019. Using cooking gas eliminates the need to forage for fuel for cooking fires, thereby offering significant time saving and convenience. Moreover, it reduces indoor air pollution caused by cooking fires, thereby preventing respiratory illnesses.
Awareness of these benefits seems clear with the launch of Ujjwala 2.0, as the government has indicated that the response to the scheme has been tremendous, with over 60 lakh new applications within the first week.