International Energy Agency praises Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana

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Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s signature Ujjwala scheme for providing free cooking gas connection to poor got appreciation from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which said it is a “major achievement” in improving the environment and health of women.

“Providing access to LPG across India by 2020 is a major achievement. It is not an energy issue, it is an economic issue, it is a social issue,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said at a conference here.

Launched by PM Shri Modi on May 1, 2016, in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) aims to safeguard the health of women and children by providing free cooking gas (LPG) connection to poor families.

So far, about 7.4 crore such connections have been given. The target is to give 8 crore connections by 2020.

Use of forest wood and agriculture waste for cooking in rural households is a major source of respiratory diseases, affecting women and children, he said adding LPG is helping to provide a clean environment.

“Ujjwala is not just an energy achievement but also social and economic achievement,” he said.

Since the BJP government came to power in 2014, the number of LPG connections in the country has doubled to more than 26 crore, covering about 90 per cent of the population. The target is to provide LPG connection, which is clean, convenient and energy-efficient source for cooking, to all households by 2020-21.

Last year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had also hailed the scheme.