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Maharashtra: Promise of gas beyond Ujjwala in rural push

Under PMUY, beneficiaries for free gas connections belong to BPL families and are chosen through the socio-economic caste census data.

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Maharashtra: Promise of gas beyond Ujjwala in rural push
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The state government will provide LPG connections to all ration card holders who have not been able to avail clean and smoke-free cooking fuel under schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. Under PMUY, beneficiaries for free gas connections belong to BPL families and are chosen through the socio-economic caste census data.

“In order to provide a smoke-free environment to the Indian women, the implementation of Ujjwala Mission has been started on a large scale. The government desires to provide gas connections to all ration card holders who are deprived of Ujjwala gas scheme, Dr Shyamaprasad Mukherjee Jan-Van Development Scheme and any other LPG distribution schemes," said Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar.

The government said the programme will be started as a pilot project in Naxal-hit pockets and areas that have witnessed a large number of farmer suicides. For the financial year 2019-20, the state has set aside Rs 100 crore for this purpose.

Continuing with its rural push, the government plans to strengthen the Khadi and Villages Industries Board (KVIB) with Rs 150 crore. “This year the country is celebrating 150th birth anniversary of Rashtrapita Mahatma Gandhi. Various programs will be organised to convey his ideas to the youth in the country and world,” said Mungantiwar.

Sharing Gandhi's idea of making villages self sufficient, the finance minister said it would also empower the 12 balutedars (traditional workmen and craftsmen in the village economy) like potters, fishermen, cobblers, barbers, washermen, blacksmith, carpenters and gardeners. “Accordingly it is planned to incentivise small industry, cottage industry through Maharashtra State Khadi and Village Industries Board.”

The budget also announced an increase in the honorarium for sarpanch (village headmen), calling them “pillars of the Panchayati Raj system,” and proposed Rs 200 crore for it.

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