Government has achieved its target of providing 1.5 crore free cooking gas (LPG) connections to poor households in less than 8 months under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY).
An official statement from government on Thursday said that the target for the first year was set at 1.5 crore.
“The first year target has been achieved within a span of less than 8 months and the scheme is being implemented now across 35 states and Union Territories,” it said.
“PMUY aims to provide 5 crore free LPG connections to BPL families in three years,” it added.
A woman member of BPL family identified through Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data is given a deposit free LPG connection with financial assistance of Rs 1,600 per connection.
The scheme was announced in the Budget for 2016-17 with an allocation of Rs 8,000 crore for three years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched PMUJ on May 1 from Balia in Uttar Pradesh.
"14 states/UTs having LPG coverage less than the national average, hilly states of J&K, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and all North-East States are identified as priority states for implementing the scheme," the statement said.
The top five states with maximum connections are UP (46 lakh), West Bengal (19 lakh), Bihar (19 lakh), Madhya Pradesh (17 lakh) and Rajasthan (14 lakh). These states constitutes nearly 75 per cent of the total connections released.
The households belonging to SC/ST constitute large chunk of beneficiaries with 35 per cent of the connections being released to them.
"With the implementation of PMUY, the national LPG coverage has increased from 61 per cent (as on January 1) to 70 per cent (as on December 12, 2016)," the statement added.