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Day 27 – Q 3.The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana has proved to be a boon for the poor women in India. Discuss. What are the indirect yet far reaching benefits of this scheme? Examine.

3. The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana has proved to be a boon for the poor women in India. Discuss. What are the indirect yet far reaching benefits of this scheme? Examine. 

प्रधानमंत्री उज्ज्वला योजना भारत की गरीब महिलाओं के लिए एक वरदान साबित हुई है। चर्चा करें। इस योजना के अप्रत्यक्ष परन्तु दूरगामी लाभ क्या हैं? जांच करें।


The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) was launched in May 2016 with the objective of providing free LPG connections to 50 million (subsequently 8 Crores) women belonging to below poverty line (BPL) households over a period of three years. LPG distributors, local NGOs, and self-help groups were involved to make it an inclusive social movement.


It has impacted the lives of poor women in India for the better through numerous ways:

  • Health: Research showed that people using solid biomass frequently suffer from headaches, nausea, chronic bronchitis and many skin diseases. Indoor air pollution and the acute respiratory illnesses caused by it were observed in most rural women. Ujjwala has empowered women and protected them and their families through the use of clean burning fuel by helping prevent a significant number of acute respiratory illnesses and other ailments. PMUY implementation has been appreciated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a decisive intervention to check the indoor health pollution being faced by the women of the country.
  • Safety: Women going to the forests for collecting firewood are also often exposed to health and safety issues, even sexual harassment at times. This is considerably decreased as a result of the LPG connections.
  • Economic empowerment: Release of LPG connection under this Scheme shall be in the name of the women belonging to the BPL family enabling the subsidy provision in the women’s account. Also, using LPG saves time for women as they do not have to collect solid fuel and then use it for cooking, with this cooking time can be effectively used in other economic activities. Women in many villages formed self-help groups to indulge in community economic activities in their free time. 

Indirect benefits of the PMUY:

  • Environment: There is a definite positive impact on forest cover and the environment from stopping the use of firewood.
  • Youth employment:  It will also provide employment for rural youth in the supply chain of cooking gas. Employment in the logistics and maintenance services are an additional benefit.
  • Climate and air pollution measures: Significantly helps in control of particulate matter and indoor air pollution, giving way to a clean energy cooking process.
  • Female financial empowerment: To get an LPG gas connection under Ujjwala scheme, it is compulsory to have a bank account in the name of a female member of a family. Many Jan Dhan accounts were opened for women. Government statistics from January 2018 show that of 30.97 crores accounts opened under Jan Dhan scheme, 16.37 crores (roughly 50 percent) were opened in the name of women resulting in financial inclusion and betterment of women’s economic status.
  • Development of children: Women can now engage in socialisation of children and take care of their nutrition and education, thus building a robust future.

  • Recognition from International Agencies: Developed countries and International agencies like WHO and IEA have hailed the scheme as clean, convenient and energy-efficient source provision and also serving as an inspiration for developing countries.

However, there have been some issues concerning the scheme:

  • Issue of refill and affordability: refilling of LPG gas connections saw a fall in refill from 35000 in 2016-17 to 13000 in 2018. Also, several complaints of affordability was raised as a reluctance of adoption was shown.
  • Behavioural Limitations: It requires behavioural changes as it is difficult to give up on age old practices of using traditional chulhas with a lack of awareness among people regarding benefits of use of LPG gases.
  • Inactive and corrupt uses: Many inactive accounts were identified, with some accounts bearing false beneficiaries using LPG for commercial and profitable purposes.
  • Economic impact: To meet the requirements, LPG imports may cost the exchequer significantly.

Way forward:

  • Encourage behavioural campaigns: ‘Give it up’ campaign, LPG Panchayat etc have been remarkable in bringing in behavioural changes. Every LPG panchayat is expected to share the experience of early local adopters of clean fuel, an exercise on comparing the costs of alternative biomass fuels, safety demonstration and feedback on services.
  • Regulate DBT and beneficiary identification: Target beneficiary expansion and identification must be carried out carefully to eliminate fake accounts and corrupt use of the scheme.


According to the official PMUY website, by January 2019, 64 million LPG connections have been provided under the Ujjwala scheme, resulting in it being considered one of the most successful and effective social sector programmes in India. Thus effective benefits should be realised by addressing all the loopholes and shortcomings of the implementation.

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