BHUBANESWAR: Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda praised the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for launching schemes like PAHAL, Give it Up, Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) and Ujjwala, which plan to provide five crore subsidised LPG connections to women of BPL households.
Speaking at the valedictory session of the first international conference on LPG organised by Research and Development Initiative (RDI) in collaboration with leading public sector oil companies here on Friday, Nadda said the Health Ministry is real beneficiary of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana as it ultimately aims at keeping the rural women healthy.
“Smoke is the killer in kitchen. It is the gateway of non-communicable diseases like lungs cancer and influences life expectancy.
Since LPG would keep women away from smoke, it will be beneficial for their health,” he said and added that the use of cooking gas would reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease of rural women.
The Health Minister said use of LPG by rural women would pay dividends in the form of better health to all family members and reduce spending on health. The women will now get more time to engage themselves in productive works thereby increasing productivity as well as income, he said.
As per statistics, LPG coverage could reach only 14 crore households in the country till 2014. Large-scale pilferage, diversion of subsidised LPG for commercial purposes, black marketing and providing subsidies to non-deserving entities resulted in non-inclusion of most deserving consumers, especially the rural population.
Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said policy to provide cooking gas connections to poor is a step towards empowering the marginal section of the society.
In just two years, while the Government has saved around `20,000 crore of subsidy after activation of DBT scheme, one crore people have positively responded to ‘Give it Up’ scheme, he said.
“Four crore people have been provided LPG connections in the last 27 months which is a quantum jump by 28 per cent and a testimony to the sincerity of the Government to take clean fuel to every household. In Odisha, while 22 per cent households had LPG connections two years back, the State has achieved 40 per cent and the target is to provide connection to 75 per cent families in next three years,” Pradhan informed.
Vice-president of IHS, USA Dr Walter Hart, CMD of Indian Oil Corporation Limited B Ashok and CEO of RDI Mita Priyadarshini also spoke.
Experts from Brazil, Guatemala, Ghana, Senegal, Kenya, Nigeria, Nepal, Bhutan, Indonesia, Cameroon and Sri Lanka shared their views.