The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved a scheme ‘Pradhan Mantri Ujjwal Yojana’ to give free cooking gas connections to poor women living below the poverty line. According to the official announcement, under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Rs. 8,000 crore has been earmarked for providing 50 million LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) connections to poor households. Each beneficiary will get financial support of Rs., 1,600 for securing an LPG connection. Eligible households will be identified in consultation with state governments and Union territories. The scheme will be implemented over the next three years.

It may be recalled that Finance Minister in Budget speech had announced a budgetary provision of Rs. 2000 crore for 2016-17 to provide deposit free LPG connections to 1.5 crore women belonging to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) Families.

The flash points of the scheme are as follows :
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwal Yojana– a scheme to provide LPG to women of all households below poverty line is approved by the CCEA.
The scheme will benefit five crore families below poverty line.
It ensures a financial support of Rs. 1600 for each LPG connection to the BPL households.
This Scheme would be implemented over three years, namely, the FY 2016-17, 207-18 and 2018-19.
According to WHO estimates, about 5 lakh deaths in India alone due to unclean cooking fuels.
Providing LPG connections to BPL households will ensure universal coverage of cooking gas in the country.
It will also provide employment for rural youth in the supply chain of cooking gas.