Lucrative offers from oil marketing companies and centrally sponsored schemes have seen more domestic consumers in the state now coming forward to use LPG as a fuel rather than using traditional wood, kerosene oil or heaters for cooking.
Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed a record 20 per cent growth in new domestic LPG connections during last one year.
This information was shared by Deputy Manager, Sales, HPCL, Anees Qari during a press conference here on Sunday.
"This is the best performance of the state in last decade as we have grown from 16 lakhs consumers in June 2016 to 20 lakhs LPG consumers now. We expect the numbers to grow further," Qari said.
Qari was highlighting the impact of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), a centrally sponsored scheme under which free LPG connections are being provided to people from lower economic strata, especially those in the Below Poverty Line ( BPL) category.
According to Qari the state witnessed an LPG penetration of 71.81 per cent last year which has increased to 87.02 per cent this year due to the PMUY scheme and individual efforts of OMCs.
"Last year Punjab was faring much better than JK with a penetration of 107 per cent and Delhi topped the list with 122 per cent LPG penetration. The addition of more than 4 lakh LPG consumers in last one year in JK has helped to provide a boost to the overall LPG consumer base in the state," said Qari who is also the district nodal officer for the PMUY scheme for Baramulla and Kupwara districts.
While oil marketing companies have added 3 lakh BPL consumers as part of the PMUY scheme, the regular LPG connections provided during last one year has touched 1 lakh, Qari said.
"On a an average we at HPCL used to provide almost 5000 LPG connections in the state every month but in March this year we have rolled out 40,000 connections. Our new connections bonanza scheme under which we have cut down the cost of LPG connection to almost Rs 1800 has received a good response. As a part of this scheme we had reduced the dealer margin to almost zero in order to make cooking gas affordable. In addition the PMUY scheme has helped us to include such beneficiaries who couldn't afford LPG connection earlier," Qari said.
Pertinently, almost 3 lakh LPG connections under the PMUY scheme for BPL category people are in the pipeline for the state which are expected to be provided to beneficiaries by the end of year, he said. " Since this is an Aadhar linked scheme so we are ensuring that all the beneficiaries get new LPG connections by getting Aadhar enrollment at the earliest. We are in touch with UIDAI and two vendors for ensuring 100 Aadhar generation in JK so that the PMUY scheme is fully implemented in the state," Qari said.
To mention, till now 28,626 LPG connections have been provided under the scheme in Baramulla and 22,839 connections under PMUY scheme have been provided in Kupwara. In Anantnag, 37,000 LPG connections have been provided under the scheme so far, informed Hamid Bulbul, Sales Officer, HPCL and District Nodal Officer for the PMUY scheme for Anantnag.
"Under this scheme a beneficiary gets cash benefit of Rs 1600 as the equipment including cylinder, pipe, regulator and card. There is even an option to provide the hotplate ( stove) and first refill on EMI for those who cant afford it," he said.