Pushed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) -led government's flagship programme Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), oil marketing companies released the highest ever number of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) connections in 2016-17, adding 32.5 million connections in the year.
The connections released includes 20 million under PMUY scheme, while 12.5 million connections were released outside PMUY. Under PMUY, women of BPL families especially residing in rural areas have been given LPG connections. This increase in connections resulted in a jump in the LPG coverage and as of April 1 this year, the national LPG coverage is estimated to be 72.8 per cent with 198.8 million active consumers.
The scheme was launched on May 1 at Ballia in Uttar Pradesh, with a target of providing connections to 50-million below-poverty-line families in three years, with government support of Rs 1,600 per connection. For the three years, the government had allocated Rs 8,000 crore; the connections are issued in the name of the women in those families.