- 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 households.
- 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 Companies.
- 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.
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