Ujjwala Yojana: A half baked scheme

The Prime Minister launched the Ujjwala Yogana to provide free gas connections to the poor. Several studies have shown that over 1,00,000 Indians die prematurely from smoke inhalation linked diseases from firewood and biomass used as fuel in traditional stoves. It has also contributed to the country’s environmental problems.

The scheme was launched in May 2016 and aimed to provide 50 million free gas connections by 2019. So far the scheme is well on its way to being achieved. However, the problem arises when a person from a below poverty line (BPL) household goes to get their gas cylinder refilled. The amount for refilling the cylinder is quite expensive, much more than someone from a BPL family could afford. It was found that while LPG connections increased by 16.26% since the launch of the scheme, the use of gas cylinders is only up by 9.83% – this is even lower than the recorded growth rate in 2014-15 before the scheme was rolled out.

Why would the Prime Minister be concerned with the boring details of whether a scheme was working or not, after all, that does not matter while he boasts about yet another amazing thing he has achieved. Naturally, the main point here was that he did a better job than the Congress party even though the Congress was in power since the dawn of time and Mr. Modi has just had four years. I don’t think there is anyone quite as obsessed with the Congress party as Mr. Modi, envy perhaps?

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