Elections bring bounties with it. In the first 45 days since the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) was launched on May 1, three-fourths of the free LPG connections went to BPL families in Uttar Pradesh, quite a big and disproportionate share, even if one concedes the fact that the state has among the country’s higher number of poor. The Modi government has indeed focused on the poll-bound state in the distribution of the largesse.
According to the Tendulkar panel methodology-based estimate, Uttar Pradesh had about 6 crore people below the poverty line (BPL) in 2011-12, while the country as a whole had 27 crore.
While 3,20,646 new LPG connections were given to women from BPL families till June 15, Uttar Pradesh topped with 2,38,196 connections.
Rajasthan with 48,595 free LPG connections, Madhya Pradesh (2,1363) and Gujarat (11,259) followed.
According to poverty estimates for 2011-12 (Tendulkar committee), Assam, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh have as high as 30-40% of their total population below the poverty line against the national average of 21.9%. Till June 15, PMUY had not forayed into Assam and Chhattisgarh, while 284 connections were offered in Odisha, 27 in Bihar and 5 in Jharkhand.
The government has decided to distribute free LPG connections — with a set of cylinder, stove and regulator — to 1.5 crore BPL families in the current fiscal (financial support of `1,600 for each LPG connection). Five crore families will benefit under the scheme in the next three years while the cost to the government will be around `8,000 crore. Tyrann Mathieu Jersey