Indian Finance Minister promised in her budget speech that the center will ensure electricity for all and clean cooking as well.
Nirmala Sitharaman in her Union Budget speech on today said the government will ensure access to electricity and clean cooking fuel for all rural households by 2022.
In her speech, she said,” Two mega initiatives of Ujjwala Yojana and Saubhagya Yojana – have transformed the lives of every rural family, dramatically improving ease of their living. Household access to clean cooking gas has seen unprecedented expansion, through the provision of more than 7 crores LPG connections. All villages, and almost 100% households across the country have been provided with electricity. A combination of efficient implementation and enthusiastic adoption has significantly improved access to energy for rural households. By 2022, the 75th year of India’s independence, I would like to assure the nation that every single rural family, except those who are unwilling to take the connection will have electricity and a clean cooking facility.”
The Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) scheme launched by the Prime Minister on 25 September 2017 aimed at providing free electricity connections to all households in rural areas and poor families in urban areas.
The government had initially targeted March 31, 2019, as the deadline for taking electricity lines to all households. It later announced that the target would be met three months earlier, by 31 December.
The government’s Saubhagya dashboard shows that as of today, the 100 percent electrification target has been met in all states barring Chhattisgarh — where power penetration currently stands at 99.67 percent.
On the other hand, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) was launched in May 2016 to provide subsidised LPG cylinders to women beneficiaries of below poverty line (BPL) families. The scheme achieved most of its connection targets before time and was touted as a resounding success by the government.
According to the statement, the government has till date provided more than seven crore LPG connections under PMUY across the country and now intends to ramp up adoption of five kilogram (Kg) LPG cylinder.
Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan has the highest PMUY connections however Ujjwala scheme has found maximum success in Delhi, Goa, Haryana, Uttarakhand, and Puducherry. These are the states with the maximum percentage of beneficiaries who availed at least four cooking gas refills in the period between May 2016 and June 2019. Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Tripura were at the bottom of the list.