The government has distributed as many as 1,12,896 cylinders free of cost in the month of April alone to the beneficiaries of the centrally-run Ujjwala scheme in the district. Giving big relief to the families under the below poverty line, the Centre has transferred a subsidy amount of Rs 700 into the bank accounts of each of the beneficiaries.
The free cooking gas cylinder distribution is part of the special relief measure announced by the central government under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana to mitigate against the economic losses suffered by the poor due to coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
As per the scheme, three free LPG refills will be provided to the Ujjwala beneficiaries from April to June 2020. This measure along with several others, including direct cash transfer, additional ration supply and increased wages under the national employment guarantee scheme, is meant to provide succour to the poor, who are hit hard by the disruption in economic activity due to the outbreak and resultant nationwide lockdown.
There are altogether 2.23 lakh beneficiaries in Nashik district to whom Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and Indian Oil are service providers.
Out of this, Rs. 700 each was deposited in the bank accounts of all the beneficiaries including 2,10,914 women, for purchase of gas cylinders from the central pool.
The subsidy amount, however, could not be credited into the bank accounts of around 12000 beneficiaries due to lack of Aadhaar link. So far, 98,000 women in the district have not taken gas cylinders despite depositing money in to their bank accounts by the government.
According to the government data, there are 27.87 crores active LPG consumers across the country including 8 crore beneficiaries of PM Ujjwala Yojana.
The government said that 50 to 60 lakh cylinders were being delivered every day ever since the lockdown began on March 25, and despite the challenges, the waiting period in most of the places was under two days. It also spared a thought for the personnel involved in the supply chain of this enormous exercise.
How to avail free LPG refills
Any woman from BPL family can apply. You have to go to the nearest LPG centre and fill up the KYC form to apply. In this 2-page form, you have to fill in details like your name, address, Jandhan account number, Aadhaar number etc. You need to declare which LPG cylinder you want — 14.2 kg or 5 kg. The scheme form can be easily obtained from the scheme website or by visiting the nearest LPG centre.