Govt gave 10 cr LPG connections to women: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that out of the 10 crore connections, a total of four crore LPG connections were given free to women. PTI file photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday trained guns on the Congress over the Opposition party's performance when it was in power, saying his government provided 10 crore cooking gas connections to women in the last four years, compared to the 13 crore in six decades from Independence till 2014.

Out of the 10 crore connections, a total of four crore LPG connections were given free to women, he said.

The prime minister was interacting, through video conferencing, with the women who received free cooking gas connection under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY).

The Ujjwala scheme has brought about benefits through better health outcomes, freedom from poisonous smoke and cleaner fuel, he said.

"Women now have a greater opportunity to earn extra income, as time spent on cooking has been reduced," he said.

He also sought to counter the Opposition's criticism of his government, saying the government rolled out the PMUY keeping "the poor at the centre of the drive".

Eighty-one out of 100 families have LPG connection now, he said.

"It was the rich and influential who received the domestic gas connection earlier but his government has kept the poor at the centre of the drive. The LPG reach is now 100% in 70% of the villages and more than 75% in 81% of the villages. A big social transformation is visible. I am happy to tell you that out of its four crore beneficiaries, 45% are Dalits and tribals," he said.

India aims to increase LPG usage to cover 80% of its households by March 2019, against the 72.8% in 2017.

To boost the cooking gas refill consumption, the prime minister said his government has targetted one lakh LPG Panchayats — peer learning platforms to support the behaviour change in Ujjwala beneficiaries — this year.

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Govt gave 10 cr LPG connections to women: PM

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