Despite proper implementation to providing access to clean cooking fuel, the Ujjwala Yojana seems to have hit a roadblock on question of affordability. Examine this issue while making an assessment of feasibility of further expansion of this programme.
Ujjwala Yojana aims at providing clean cooking fuel to BPL families. The scheme aims at providing access to the under privileged sections of the society. The scheme though provided the access to clean cooking fuel the affordability has put the progress of scheme under question because:
- The beneficiaries have to pay 1600rs for the connection. This is limiting the penetration of the scheme.
- Hindrances in refilling of cylinders were observed as there’s no subsidy for refilling.
- Black marketing due to differential pricing of the household and commercial LPG has resulted in tendencies of routing ujjwala cylinders to black-market.
- Lack of door delivery of cylinders is also adversely impacting refilling of cylinders in rural areas.
- Patriarchal society has sidelined women from decision making. Thus Ujjwala scheme which is seeking for addressing of women crisis is facing challenges in acceptance.
- Transferring of Subsidy to banks and limited access to banking in rural areas has also resulted in friction in penetration.
Feasibility of the scheme for expansion:
- Ujjwala scheme can be of great companion as it addresses the critical question of accessibility to fuel. Thus aiding in addressing the energy access issues.
- The scheme is of great importance in addressing various respiratory and bronchial issues due to traditional chullas.
- The schemes performance is not abysmal and refilling is about 85%which is not a poor performance.
- Women empowerment needs economic, social and political empowerment acting in tandem and complimentary to each other. Ujjwala can be of great aid in social empowerment.
The Ujjwala scheme offers varied benefits across the varied landscape. Rather than cynicism addressing of bottlenecks must be priority. The expansion of the scheme is a good step in this direction.