In order to protect women’s health and empower them, the cabinet on March 10 approved the Pradhan Mantri Ujwala Yojana.
Under the scheme, free cooking gas (LPG) connections will be provided to women belonging to poor families.
“The Cabinet was headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The scheme has an outlay of Rs 8,000 crore for three years,” Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told PTI.
The scheme aims to cover a total of 5 crore BPL households to ensure universal coverage of cooking gas in the country.
In the Budget 2016-17, Finance minister Arun Jaitley had said:
“Women of India have faced the curse of smoke during the process of cooking. According to experts, having an open fire in the kitchen is like burning 400 cigarettes an hour. The time has come to remedy this situation.”
He added that to solve this situation, the government had decided to provide LPG connections in names of women members of poor households.
Jaitley had further mentioned that a sum of Rs 2,000 crore was set aside in this year’s Budget to meet the initial cost of providing the LPG connections. “This will benefit about 1 crore 50 lakh households below the poverty line in 2016-17,” he had said.