“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a gift to every family through the Ujjwala Yojana and reduced cylinder prices by Rs 300. Now, we have also decided that every Ujjwala Yojana connection beneficiary will be given one cooking gas cylinder free of cost as a Diwali gift,” Adityanath said at an event in Bulandshahr on Tuesday evening.
The promise for free distribution of LPG cylinders twice a year was made by the BJP in its election manifesto before the 2022 Assembly polls.
Officials said that the State Food and Civil Supply Department has prepared a proposal vis-a-vis execution of the scheme to be put forward before the state cabinet for its formal approval soon.
Once approved, the scheme will get implemented — expectedly in the run-up to Diwali due next month.
The scheme, sources said, would subsequently be applicable during Holi next year.
Confirming the development, State Minister For Food and Civil Supplies, Satish Chandra Sharma, said that the scheme would cover around 1.75 crore families which have received free gas connection under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY).
While a detailed procedure regarding executing the scheme is being reviewed exhaustively, sources said that the state government may opt for Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) envisaging transfer of subsidy directly into the bank account of the beneficiary.
The state government, as a matter of fact, had made a budgetary provision of Rs 3,047 crore for the scheme in February earlier this year. This, however, could not be implemented in the absence of a detailed proposal, sources said.
The move comes even as the BJP intensifies its campaign in the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The scheme, essentially centred on women, comes close on the heels of the Centre enacting Women Reservation Law in Lok Sabha and other State Legislative Assemblies.
In September, the Union cabinet had approved the release of grant money to support LPG connections to women under the Ujjwala scheme.
Before that in August, the cabinet gave an additional subsidy of Rs 200, which took the total subsidy to Rs 400 per cylinder for PMUY beneficiaries.