Ahead of Assembly elections in crucial States, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday increased the subsidy given on LPG cylinders under the Ujjwala scheme to ₹300 from the current ₹200.
Under the Ujjwala scheme, which provides poor women with free cooking gas connections, a 14.2-kg LPG cylinder will now cost ₹603 for beneficiaries as against the current ₹703. The move is expected to benefit 9.6 crore families.
The announcement of the decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) was made by Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur.
The CCEA has raised the subsidy from ₹200 per cylinder to ₹300 for up to 12 refills per year, Mr. Thakur told the media. He, however, did not reveal the additional subsidy outgo the move would entail.
In 2022-23, ₹6,100 crore was provided as Ujjwala subsidy, which increased to ₹7,680 crore in fiscal year 2023-24.
Assembly elections are due in five States — Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chattisgarh and Mizoram.
The government had in late August, cut domestic cooking gas prices by ₹200 per cylinder, after which it cost ₹903. For Ujjwala beneficiaries, the price was ₹703 after considering the ₹200 per cylinder subsidy, which is directly paid into the bank accounts of connection holders.
On Sunday, oil firms had also increased the price of commercial LPG by ₹209. A 19-kg commercial LPG cylinder now costs ₹1,731.50 in Delhi, ₹1,684 in Mumbai and ₹1,898 in Chennai. However, the prices of domestic LPG remains unchanged.
The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) was launched in May 2016 as a flagship scheme with an objective to make clean cooking fuel such as LPG available to the rural and deprived households which were otherwise using traditional cooking fuels such as firewood, coal, cow-dung cakes, etc.