• Target of 15 million LPG connections under PMUY for 2016-17 achieved: Pradhan

    The Centre has already achieved the target of 1.5 crore LPG connections for 2016-17 fiscal under a scheme for providing free cooking gas connections to BPL families, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said today.

    The government had set a target of five crore connections for three years, ending 2018-19 under the Prime Minister Ujwala Yojana (PMUY) scheme, with 1.5 crore each during this and next fiscal, and two crore in 2018-19, he said here.

    For 2016-17 fiscal, the target had been achieved by the end of December and 10,000 more connections would be added in the remaining months, he said.

    He said LPG connection was not only commercial one, but a catalyst for socio-economic change and considering the deaths of five lakh women per year due to the usage of unhealthy fuels for cooking, the government decided to provide the connections free of cost.

    Stating that there were 13 crore LPG consumers in 2014, when NDA government took over, he said it had gone up to 19 crore and the target was 27 crore by 2020. His ministry would add 10,000 distributors to the present 80,000, to achieve this.

    Replying to a question, he said his ministry had records to prove that beneficiaries were using the LPG connections.

    On digital payments at petrol outlets, Pradhan said fifty cities, including Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai and Tiruchirapalli, had been identified for ensuring 100 per cent digital facility.

    Of the 4,554 petrol bunks in Tamil Nadu, a total of 4,077 were having either Point of Sales machines or wallet facility, he said

    Pradhan, who was here to attend the convention of All India LPG Distributors Federation, said he had asked the gas agencies to focus on safety, by spreading awareness about preventive measures.

    On plans to generate alternative fuel or producing more ethanol, Pradhan said the government had decided to start 11 ethanol plants, including one in Tamil Nadu, in the next two years. Mark McGwire Womens Jersey

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