Policy & Govt

Modi’s Ujjwala LPG scheme faces ‘affordability’ problem, not ‘availability’: SBI Ecowrap

Modi government’s flagship scheme Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), which aims to replace dirty cooking fuels with clean and efficient LPG, faces “affordability” issues amid recent rise in cylinder prices. The government has solved the problem of LPG availability to poor households through PMUY, but the affordability barrier still exists, said the latest SBI Ecowrap report released on Monday.

Given the fact that almost 96.5 per cent of households in India, as on October 2019, have an LPG connection due to PMUY scheme, an increase in liquefied petroleum gas (LPG, read cooking gas) prices might affect consumption. The beneficiaries are likely to go back to use of unclean fuel (hazardous to their health also) as soon as the free cylinders get exhausted, the report said.

According to the SBI Ecowrap report, 54.2 per cent of total PMUY consumers consumed up to 3 cylinders in a year or more. However, logic suggests that a family of 4 requires at least 3-4 cylinders per year.

“The PMUY use among the rural households in states with low per capita income may be lower due to continuous increase in LPG prices,” said the SBI Ecowrap report.

The data is based on analysis of the state-wise refill data of 5.92 crore connections installed till December 2018 since the scheme started on May 2016 and refill up to June 3, 2019 (means the connections that have completed more than one year).

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