NEW DELHI (TIP): The government on Thursday approved a Rs 8,000-crore scheme to provide free cooking gas connections in the name of women members from poor households, reinforcing the idea of LPG emerging as the new vehicle for political outreach ahead of state polls.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley had announced the scheme in the budget, allocating Rs 2,000 crore for providing 1.5 crore connections in 2016-17. “The scheme will be continued for at least two more years to cover a total of 5 crore BPL (below poverty line) households. This will ensure universal coverage of cooking gas in the country,” Jaitley had said in his budget speech. T he Cabinet’s approval indicates the government’s resolve to see the scheme through the next three years as a whole and to start rolling out connections on a war footing immediately.
Referring to a WHO study, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said five lakh women from poor households die from inhaling smoke from unhealthy fuels used in their kitchens. “The LPG scheme has health as well as environmental dividend,” he said. Referring to the plight of poor, Jaitley had said, “Women of India have faced the curse of smoke during cooking. The time has come to remedy this situation.” Source: TOI