More LPG connections under Ujjwala Yojana

More LPG connections under Ujjwala Yojana

Ujjwala Yojana

In an apparent reach out to women voters ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday assured that more homemakers across the country will get free cooking gas connections under the Ujjwala Yojana.

The target of the Narendra Modi government to provide free LPG connections to 8 crore woman will be achieved “by next year,” he asserted while presenting the interim Budget.

He also proposed setting up a Welfare Development Board under the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry for implementation of welfare and development programmes for the denotified, nomadic and semi-nomadic communities, whose population in the country is roughly estimated to be 11 crore.

A committee under the NITI Aayog will be set up to complete the task of identifying de-notified, nomadic and semi-nomadic communities who are not yet “formally classified,” Goyal announced.

The BJP, which treats women as caste-neutral constituencies, is pinning high hopes on women the implementation of the Ujjwala Yojana and other women-centric programmes rolled out during the Modi regime.

In the Budget speech, Goyal said the Centre embarked upon a programme to deliver 8 crore free LPG (cooking gas) connections under the Ujjwala Yojana to women “for securing the health of every homemaker in rural areas and to ensure that she does not have to shed tears for cooking food to nourish her family.”

“More than 6 crore connections have already been given and the remaining will get free gas connections by next year. In our election manifesto, we had promised that we will transform the quality of life of women in rural India by providing cleaner fuel,” he said. Goyal dubbed the government's Ujjwala Yojana as “a remarkable success story”, crediting it to the “bold yet practical vision” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He hailed Modi for the “responsible and compassionate leadership” and said more than 70% of the beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana, under which affordable and collateral-free loans are given to start a business, are women.

“Amongst many measures, benefits of maternity leave of 26 weeks and Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana for pregnant women have provided financial support to women while empowering them to participate in work,” he added.

The government's focus on the welfare of the de-notified, nomadic and semi-nomadic communities is in sync with the efforts of the BJP and the RSS to woo these communities. “Our government is committed to reaching the most deprived citizens of this country,” he said.