RANCHI: The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), the flagship scheme of the Modi government that offers a free gas connection to below poverty line (BPL) families, is facing glitches in Jharkhand, with thousands of families denied its benefits because there is no woman member in the family.
As per guidelines issued by the Centre, only an adult female member of a family is eligible for the connection.
There are estimated to be around 5 lakh families in the state which cannot avail of PMUY because they lack an adult female member. Around 50 lakh families were to be provided a gas connection in the state, and 30 lakh of them have already been provided one.
Sources in the government said that the families were identified on the basis of a survey report of National Informatics Centre (NIC), which found after scanning ration cards that around five lakh families did not have any adult female member.
Officials said that the software had been developed in such a way that only the name of a female member could be entered, and if the person was marked as male, the registration process gets blocked automatically.
“As per the guidelines of Government of India, the LPG connection will have to be given in the name of an adult female member in the family. If there is no female member in the family, then naturally, it does not qualify for the scheme,” said Director Food, Sanjay Singh.
Officials working in the field said they had come across such families but were helpless as they were bound to adhere to the guidelines issued by the government of India in this connection.
“Yes, it is a common complaint which we face as there are many households which lack adult female members due to sudden death or some other reason. We have been keeping their applications on hold so that they can be dealt with accordingly,” said a senior food and civil supplies official, requesting anonymity.
New government may bring change
It’s expected that the new government at the Centre will make changes in the guidelines so that the deprived families can also avail of the scheme.
Agencies dealing with e-LPG connections have conveyed the problem to higher authorities and are waiting for instructions.