NEW DELHI: Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has stressed the importance of clean cooking as an area of immense concern to the government. “India has taken the lead in providing clean cooking solutions to the rural masses through Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), a unique programme that is the biggest of its kind in the world. We have already provided more than 30 million connections, greatly impacted rural livelihoods, and we have made immense impact on health,” Pradhan said.
Pradhan, speaking at the Clean Cooking Forum 2017, stated that the government must drive innovation in cooking areas to find clean cooking solutions, and that women must be included in the process of designing products. “PMUY will result in the additional employment of 100,000 people and provide business opportunities to at least 10,000 more,” Pradhan said.
OilMin to fund start-ups
In another development, Pradhan announced the launch of a Rs 320-crore fund to support start-ups in the oil & gas sector for three years. The initiative would be funded by 10 firms under the oil ministry – IndianOil, Hindustan Petroleum, Bharat Petroleum, Oil India, ONGC, Engineers India, Numaligarh Refinery, Gas Authority of India, Balmer Lawrie and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals.
The oil sector public sector undertakings have partnered with 36 projects (start-ups). All companies have created a fund of Rs 320 crore for the next three years. More funds can be provided under this initiative,” Pradhan said. This initiative could promote innovation and new business models in the oil & gas sector. “This is no charity. This is no CSR. This is business. This is partnership,” Pradhan added.
He said the oil & gas sector would offer investment opportunities worth $300 billion in the next 10 years in view of 25 per cent of incremental energy demand in the world coming from India.