Why in news?

As part of the economic response to COVID-19, Pradhan Mnatri Garib Kalyan Package, under which – Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is providing free of cost LPG cylinders to over 8 crore PMUY beneficiaries for 3 months.

The beneficiaries were given funds in advance through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in their accounts, so that there was no difficulty in availing this facility.

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY)

  • The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) is a government scheme launched in 2016 which envisages the distribution of 50 million LPG connections to women below the poverty line.
  • PMUY is a scheme of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
  • There are 27.87 Crore active LPG consumers in the country, with the PMUY beneficiaries accounting for over 8 crore.

Why was PMUY Necessary?

  • As per the estimates of the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 5 lakh deaths in India occurred due to unclean cooking fuel.
  • These deaths were caused mostly due to non-communicable diseases including heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer.
  • Providing LPG connections to families below the poverty line will ensure universal coverage of cooking gas in the country.
  • The scheme can be a tool for women empowerment in that LPG connections and clean cooking fuel can reduce cooking time and effort, and in most of India, cooking is a responsibility shouldered solely by women.
  • The scheme also provides employment to the rural youth in the supply chain of cooking gas.

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, 2016 (PMGKY) is an amnesty scheme launched by the Narendra Modi led Government of India in December 2016 on the lines of the Income declaration scheme, 2016 (IDS) launched earlier.

During the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in India, Finance Minister announced a ₹1.70 Lakh Crore($24 billion) relief package under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana for the poor.

  1. ₹500 each to 19.86 crore women Jan Dhan account holders
  2. LPG cylinders to be provided to 8 crore poor families for the next three months free of cost.
  3. ₹1,000 for senior citizens to tide over difficulties during next three months.
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