Govt in a fix over selection of beneficiaries under Ujjwala scheme

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government is in a quandary over selection of eligible BPL beneficiaries under the Centre’s recently announced Ujjwala scheme after the latter said that it would follow the list of genuine applicants sent by the States while implementing the welfare scheme across the country.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana – a scheme for providing free LPG connections to women in the beneficiary families, five crore LPG connections will be given to BPL households across the country in the next three years.

The problem arose when it was found that the State has around 45 lakh BPL families as per 1997 survey, whereas 58 lakh families in the State have been categorized under the ‘Deprived’ section in the Socio Economic and Caste Census conducted in 2011.

Though the State government is yet to decide on the final list of beneficiaries, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, which is implementing the scheme said it would stick to the BPL list of respective States for the scheme.

“It is the responsibility of State governments to prepare the list of BPL families for their respective States. We will ask them to send the list for effective realization of the scheme,” Union Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.

Already at crossroads over the matter, the Odisha government however said that it would wait for the Centre’s guidelines on this.

“We are yet to get the guideline from Centre on the scheme. We will analyse and take appropriate action once we receive this,” Panchayati Raj minister Arun Sahu stated.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has recently approved the Scheme under which Rs 8000 crore has been earmarked for LPG connections to BPL households. The Scheme provides a financial support of Rs 1600 for each LPG connection to the BPL households.

According to reports, the identification of eligible BPL families will be made in consultation with the State Governments and the Union Territories. This Scheme would be implemented over three years, namely, the FY 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.