Ujjwala scheme implementation spiked in election years: RTI

The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana aimed at making LPG connections available to rural households saw a spurt in new distribution just before the 2019 general election, an indianexpress.com RTI plea has found.

According to the response provided by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural gas to an RTI seeking details of the beneficiaries under the Ujjwala scheme, while 193,05,327 free connections were distributed in 2016-17, the same fell to 158,69,857 in 2017-18, but saw over a 100 per cent increase in 2018-19, touching 357,64,417 new connections. The number again fell to just 90,60,124 the next year.

In 2016, the Narendra Modi government launched the scheme and authorised oil marketing companies, namely Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), for its implementation. The target under the scheme was to release 8 crore LPG connections to the deprived household by 2020. This was achieved in August 2019, seven months ahead of the March 2020 deadline.

However, a closer look at the yearwise break of the distribution of LPG under the scheme suggests maximum dispensation during the period just before the 2019 general election.

Indian Express
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