Jaipur: At a time when people are battling inflation and finding it hard to make both ends meet, the Rajasthan government has brought much needed relief for the netizens by providing gas cylinders for Rs 500.
In fact, Rajasthan has become the only state in the country to provide gas cylinders for Rs 500.
The price of domestic gas cylinders has more than doubled since the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) was introduced.
As a result, the beneficiary families are finding it hard to refill their cylinders every month. However, the Rajasthan government has presented a very different model which has become the talk of the town across the state and nation as well.
It was Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot government’s big-ticket promise to make cooking gas cylinders at Rs 500 – which came into effect recently, barely six months away from the assembly elections in Rajasthan. The move was well-received by the state’s women, who were known to support the BJP, especially during the Lok Sabha elections after the PMUY was launched. This is the biggest cooking gas subsidy being given in the country – crucial for the Congress in a state like Rajasthan that has a long tradition of voting out the incumbent for over three decades.
This first big-ticket promise was made by the Ashok Gehlot government in December last year. The next one was made soon after — 100 units of free power to every family. In February, the government also announced raising the coverage amount of its flagship health scheme — Chiranjeevi Swasthya Bima Yojana — from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 25 lakh per year per family
“Rajasthan has become a model state of the country in every field including social security, education, medical, health, information technology, women empowerment and employment. Rajasthan is the only state in the country to provide right to health by enacting a law including free treatment up to Rs 25 lakh and accident insurance of Rs 10 lakh, free medicines and check-up facilities under Chief Minister Chiranjeevi Health Insurance Scheme,” Gehlot said.
“World class institutes like IIT, IIM, NIFT are open in the state. Insurance of milch animals, 125 days employment guarantee is being given to the weaker sections under Annapurna Food Kit, Chief Minister Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and Indira Gandhi Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme. Remarkable work has been done in every field in the state,” he added.
Gehlot said, “We are taking suggestions and advice from 1 crore people in ‘Rajasthan Mission-2030’.” He asked the LPG gas distributors to send their suggestions in Mission-2030.
Union President Dr. Deepak Singh apprised the Chief Minister about various topics related to gas cylinder distributors in the programme. The members of the Sangh thanked the Chief Minister for providing cylinders to the eligible people at Rs 500.
Meanwhile, the CM earlier said, ”We are talking about savings and relief. It was the theme in our budget and we are giving people relief,” Chief Minister Gehlot said at a programme to launch the scheme.
“This is social security… schemes like these and the right to health should be made applicable nationally for all countrymen,” he added.
The LPG scheme of Rs 500 is only for those families, who are in the BPL category in Rajasthan or take LPG gas cylinders under the Ujjwala scheme of the Centre. The Rajasthan government will provide this cylinder to such customers for Rs 500.
At present, a cylinder is generally available in Rajasthan for around Rs 1050. In such a situation, from April 1, 2023, families of these two categories are able to get gas cylinders at less than half the cost.
As per officials, “Over 70 lakh consumers got cylinders under Ujjwala scheme at the rate of Rs 850 per cylinder in Rajasthan. Ujjwala consumers get a subsidy of Rs 200 from the Centre. Similarly, 6 lakh consumers are registered in BPL category from Rajasthan — Indian Oil: Over 3 lakh, BPCL: Over 1.5 lakh and HPCL: 1.5 lakh.”
“In this way, over 6 lakh consumers of BPL category get gas at the normal rate of Rs 1050 per cylinder in Rajasthan. They do not even get Rs 200 subsidy under the Ujjwala scheme’” said officials.
The Food Department of Rajasthan and the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell of the Centre believe that on an average, one cylinder is used by a family of 3 to 4 people in Rajasthan.
In such a situation, when the Rajasthan government will give cheap cylinders to these over 70 lakh consumers, it will directly affect about 2.25 crore people.
Earlier, state minister Pratap Singh Khachariawas said that the government wants to give benefits to all those people who have been cheated in the name of Ujjwala. “You get a cylinder only once and then you have to pay the full amount. We will give this cylinder to Ujjwala and BPL people for Rs 500. The rest of the money will be given by the state government from its own pocket to the central government. We want to reduce the burden of the public,” he added.
These subsidised cylinders to over 70 lakh consumers would put an additional burden of about Rs 3300 crore on the state government every year. The government will provide 12 cylinders in a year at this rate.