A recent survey by the Research Institute for
Compassionate Economics has found that 85% of the beneficiaries of the Ujjwala
scheme in rural Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan still use
solid fuels for cooking. Among the surveyed households 53% exclusively used the
chulha, while 32% used both.
Launched in 2016, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
is a scheme of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. It aims to
safeguard the health of women & children by providing them with a clean
cooking fuel – LPG. The scheme provides free LPG connections to economically
weaker families. The connections are issued in the name of women of the
Under the scheme, cash assistance of Rs. 1600 is
given to the beneficiaries to get a deposit-free new connection. Further,
interest free loan is provided to purchase stove and refill by Oil Marketing
The study has observed affordability is a major
concern with the scheme. Though, free LPG connections are provided, refilling
charges of LPG cylinders remain very high and unaffordable for the poor
households. The households thus opt for solid cooking fuels.
Gender inequalities is another factor which
influences the decision for opting solid cooking fuel over LPG. The study has
noted that since women are not generally economic decision makers in the
household, the shift to LPG usage is hindered.