Newdelhi:4/2/19:Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural gas & Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Shri Dharmendra Pradhan was today handed over a case study on Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), undertaken by Professor SK Barua, former Director and Faculty member, IIM, Ahmedabad, after its registration.
In order to chronicle the journey of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), one of the largest social transformation programmes in the country to provide clean cooking fuel to Indian kitchens, a case study titled “Lighting up Lives through Cooking Gas and transforming Society” has been developed byProfessor SK Barua, former Director, IIM – Ahmedabad, and one of the leading academicians in the country. The case study aims to understand how a seemingly simple mechanism of providing universal access to LPG has transformed the lives of the destitute, empowering them through socio- economic inclusion.
Prof Barua, Dr M.M.Kutty, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas also spoke on the occasion.
The case study encapsulates the journey ofPMUY, right from its genesis, to the benefits it has accrued to those who now have access to LPG for the first time, thanks to the scheme. The case study also highlights the important role timely policy intervention plays in weeding out the loopholes and ensuring that the social welfare scheme serves every poor household in the country.
The key findings of the case study are as follows:
The scale and speed of implementation were achieved through excellent coordination between the government system, the government-owned Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and the banking system. The government system represented by officials from the central government, the state governments, and the village heads (Sarpanchs) helped in identifying BPL beneficiaries and in mobilizing people to accept the idea of switching over to LPG from traditional fuels for cooking. The OMCs (the three companies involved in the implementation were IOCL, BPCL and HPCL) designed and created robust logistics system needed for bottling and distribution of cooking gas cylinders. They also designed and created the IT platform required for easy transaction and record keeping for the entire logistics system. Banks provided the infrastructure needed for flow of funds, including flow and accounting of subsidies from the government.
PMUY is clearly one of the largest social intervention schemes executed anywhere in the world in sucha challenging environment. Its successful implementation provides insights into management of such interventions. The lessons that can be drawn from the implementation would be of use for similar large- scale social interventions.
Issues for the Future as mentioned in the Case Study:
While the scheme had been conceived by the Prime Minister, as Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr. Pradhan had been the key driver of Ujjwala. The program had been designed to achieve: a) social transformation through empowerment of women, b) elimination of corruption in allotment and consumption of LPG, c) economic transformation of rural India, and d) halting of environmental degradation due to felling of tress for fuelwood. From the beginning, Mr. Pradhan was clear that the program must be achieved with limited burden on public funds. He had been able to motivate the OMCs – and they had responded splendidly to effectively implement the program with use of technology and their reach in rural India.
The PMUY is being implemented when the crude and LPG prices in the international market are benign. If these were to rise in the future then the cost of use of LPG would rise for the BPL families, unless the subsidy provided is increased to nullify the rise in price. Increase in cost may result in these families going back to traditional fuel. Preventing such relapse will require the government to set aside more funds for energy subsidy. What policy choices should be made when faced with such a situation?