Nearly 86 per cent beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), under which free LPG connection is provided, have returned to buy the second cylinder, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in Lok Sabha on Monday. Pradhan also said during the last five years, Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have commissioned more than 9,000 LPG distributorships to make LPG easily available and accessible to customers.
“The OMCs have reported that nearly 86 per cent of PMUY beneficiaries who are at least one year old have returned for the second refill,” he said during Question Hour. Further, he said, PMUY beneficiaries get applicable subsidy directly into their bank account under PAHAL scheme.
The minister said in order to encourage PMUY beneficiaries to adopt and use LPG on sustained basis, OMCs have taken measures which include: offering swap facility to provide small 5 kg cylinder against 14.2 kg cylinder as per the requirement, conducting Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat to educate beneficiaries on the benefits of sustained use of LPG and its safe usage.
Other steps include launching audio visual media campaign to spread awareness on advantages of use of LPG, targeted SMS campaign to reach to beneficiaries who have not comeback for refill, display campaign by way of banners, and hoardings at public places. Pradhan said as on July 8, 2019, OMCs have released more than 7.34 crore LPG connections across the country.
“Adoption and use of LPG on sustained basis by a beneficiary of PMUY involves behavioural change and also depends on several factors which include food habits, cooking habits, price of LPG, availability of free firewood, cow dung etc,” he said. The minister also said according to a study there has been 20 per cent reduction in cases of chest congestion in the country after the implementation of PMUY.