SRINAGAR/JAMMU, SEPTEMBER 28: Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti and Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr Dharmendra Pradhan today formally launched the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. The scheme provides free LPG connections to the women from BPL households.
The scheme was launched by the Chief Minister along with the Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas at two separate functions organized at Srinagar and Jammu.
Also present on the occasion were Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region, PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh, Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh, Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali, MPs, Members of the State Council of Ministers and Legislators.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that the initiative, in line with creating smoke-less villages across the country, has come as a moment of pride for the women in BPL- households for getting LPG connection as an identity of their own and to lead a smoke-free, less polluted, convenient and healthy life.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) was launched by the Prime Minister in May 2016. The scheme aims to safeguard the health of women and children by providing them with a clean cooking fuel – LPG, so that they don’t have to compromise their health in smoky kitchens or wander in unsafe areas collecting firewood.
Under PMUY, 5 crore LPG connections will be provided to BPL families across the country during the next three years. For Jammu and Kashmir, a target of 35 lakh connections has been set under PMUY out of which 1 lakh connections area to be provided during next 15 days. Ensuring women’s empowerment, especially in rural India, the connections will be issued in the name of the woman in a family.
It was further informed that the enrolment of the BPL families have been made constituency wise all over the State and the deserving people shall be given free LPG connections along with a gas stove and a regulator.
Highlighting that such schemes are designed keeping in mind the welfare of the poor, the Chief Minister said that the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana will benefit the poor, especially the women. Besides providing an economic benefit to the beneficiary women, through a gas cylinder and a stove free of cost, the scheme also aims to replace the unclean cooking fuels used in the most underprivileged households with clean and more efficient LPG, leading to a smoke-free, less polluted, convenient and healthy life, Ms Mehbooba said.
The Chief Minister said that providing LPG connections to BPL households will ensure universal coverage of cooking gas and added that this measure will empower women and protect their health by reducing the labour and time spent on cooking.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr Dharmendra Pradhan assured that LPG would be made available to everyone in the State. He said in next two years no home in J&K would be without LPG connection.
The Union Minister also announced that a new LPG bottling plant would be started in Kargil, while gas production would be increased in Leh.
Mr. Pradhan acknowledged that it would have been a grave mistake if the scheme which is meant for the welfare of women would not have been extended to a State which is headed by a woman Chief Minister.
Giving credit to Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali, and Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti for making Union Government to extend PMUY scheme to J&K, Mr. Pradhan said that Mr. Zulfkar Ali visited New Delhi number of times and held various meetings making everyone understand that mountainous regions should also be considered for PMUY. He confirmed that it was after these meetings that the Union Government decided to extend the scheme to J&K and North East.
Speaking at the function, Minister of State in PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh stressed on the need to focus on development of J&K. He said that present dispensation, both at State as well as at Centre, are committed for the overall development of J&K, adding, whatever, the situation would be people should never get distracted from the path of development.
Mr. Jitendra Singh assured that development of J&K and North East is the top priority of Union Government.
Reiterating the need for giving rights to poor, the Minister said that onus lies on each one among us, especially the youth who, he said should not deprive themselves from the developmental schemes that Centre keeps on offering for their welfare.
On the occasion, Deputy Chief Minister Dr. Nirmal Sigh said that focus of Union as well as State government is to ensure that people from all strata especially farmers, laborers, and downtrodden class should avail the benefits of various developmental schemes.
The Minister said that around 70 such schemes meant for the welfare of women, youth, and farmers have been started by the Union Government. He added that if people can avail benefits from such schemes it would surly make their lives economically better.
Mr. Nirmal Singh said the present dispensation would ensure that poor people do get their rights which they did not get in previous regimes.
Earlier, Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali said that keeping the geographical area in mind, PMYU scheme is a must for our State.
He added that Chief Minister was keen for the scheme to be extended to our State, adding, therefore, several meetings were conducted with Petroleum Ministry for the same.
Appreciating the role played by the FCS&CA, and Oil Companies during the recent unrest, the Minister said that despite tough political situation still our dedicated employees managed to distribute one lakh forty thousand metric tones of rice in last three months. Likewise nine like LPG cylinders were distributed, he added.
He said that the CM had given clear instructions that there should not be any shortage of essential supplies to people.
Earlier in his welcome address, Chairman/Managing Director of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd, presented a brief resume of the scheme.
Senior Central and State Government officials and representatives of oil companies besides a large number of people were present on the occasion.