Skip to main content

Clean fuel? Modi's Ujjwala fails: Poor households 2.5 times "less likely" to use LPG

By Rajiv Shah
The Government of India's (GoI) Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, launched in 2016 in order to promote the use of clean cooking fuel to villagers by subsidizing liquid petroleum gas (LPG) connections, and thus reduce exposure to "harmful" indoor air pollution, has mainly helped the rural elite, a recent study, titled "Persistence of solid fuel use despite increases in LPG ownership: New survey evidence from rural north India", has said.
If GoI has contended that that by December 2018, six crore households received access to LPG through the Ujjwala Yojana, and that 90% of all Indian households owned an LPG cylinder and stove, the study, published by the Research Institute for Compassionate Economics (RICE), says, "The richest households are about 2.5 times more likely to exclusively use LPG than the poorest households."
According to the study, the poorest households "are less likely to have LPG than rich households, and "poor households are more likely to have received LPG through Ujjwala", but the latter may be "less likely to get a refill immediately after a cylinder becomes empty" because "refilling a cylinder costs almost half the average monthly per-capita expenditure."
Comparing the data of its 2018 survey on fuel use by revisiting households originally visited in 2014 in rural Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh, taken as “sample states",because they collectively represent over two-fifths of India’s rural population, the study admits that "three-quarters of households reported owning LPG at the time of the survey, up from about one-third in 2014."
Considering this "an important improvement", the study, however, says, "We also find that many LPG owners, and particularly those that received cylinders through Ujjwala, still use solid fuels to cook. Most LPG owners also own a stove that uses solid fuel, and among households owning both, about three-quarters of households used solid fuels."
Decile 1 represents poorest, decile 10 richest households
The survey, which covers 11 districts in rural north India, three districts in each of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh, and two districts in Rajasthan, finds that "37% used both LPG and solid fuels, and 36% cooked everything using solid fuels", adding, "98% of households with LPG also had chulha, already indicating continued solid fuel use among LPG owners."
The study, authored by a group of scholars, Aashish Gupta, Sangita Vyas, Payal Hathi, Nazar Khalid, Nikhil Srivastav, Dean Spears, and Diane Coffey, further says, "Only 27% of households reported exclusively using LPG to cook all the items of these six that they made the day before the survey. 37% reported making some items on LPG and some on chulha, and 36% made everything on chulha."
According to the study, "Majority of households owning LPG either mix fuels or still exclusively use chulha, and this is particularly true for households that received LPG through Ujjwala. The fact that many rural households mix fuel sources helps make sense of slow improvements in the fraction of households mainly using clean fuels for cooking." Even among the rich households, which are "less likely to exclusively use chulha, and more likely to exclusively use LPG, than poor households", less than 37% exclusively use LPG.
It notes, "Interestingly, rich households are actually more likely to mix fuel sources than poor households. About 47% of the richest LPG-owning households mixed fuel sources", adding,"Among households that have LPG, richer households are more likely to use it compared to poorer household, but most of these rich households still use chulha on a daily basis."
Noting that the use of solid fuel remains a much cheaper source for cooking for the poorer households, the study says, "Among households that have chulha, which is almost all households, 68% report exclusively making or collecting solid fuels on their own, and 24% report making or collecting some solid fuels on their own, and buying some."
It adds, "Because so many households do not buy solid fuels for regular use, the median cost per month for dung or wood among all households that have chulha is Rs 0, and the mean is Rs. 214. Among households that buy solid fuels for regular use, the mean cost per month is Rs. 737."
"In comparison", the study says, "Among households reporting they had refilled their cylinder at least once, the mean reported cost of a cylinder refill is Rs 876." No doubt, it says, "Some households receive the LPG subsidy in their bank accounts, making the net cost of a cylinder cheaper than Rs. 876", but among households that have an LPG cylinder, only 51% reported receiving the subsidy.
It states, "Not all respondents knew the last subsidy amount, but those that did reported receiving almost Rs 300, on average. Therefore, for these households, the average net cost of one LPG refill was around Rs 600." Further, "35% of all LPG-owning households, and 60% of households that received LPG through Ujjwala, report not receiving the subsidy at all."
---
Click HERE for the study

Comments

Uma Sheth said…
It is the same story--roads, electricity, internet - nothing seems to be what the government tells us.

TRENDING

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

JP advised RSS to give up Hindu Rashtra, disband itself: Ex-IAS officer tells Modi

Counterview Desk
Major MG Devasahayam IAS (Retd), chairman, People-First, in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Jayprakash Narain’s (JP’s) death anniversary (October 11) has wondered whether he remembers “a patriot called Jayaprakash Narayan”. Recalling what JP thought on issues such as communalism, freedom, democracy, Hindutva etc., Devasahayam says, Modi has been been doing “the very opposite of the principles and values for which JP lived and died.”

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

UP chief secretary, DGP have 'surrendered' to political diktat: 92 retired IAS, IPS officials

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, 92 retired IAS, IFS and IPS bureaucrats, commenting on “blatant violations of the rule law” following the Hathras incident, have blamed that the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police for abjectly failing to exercise control over a “highly compromised” administration the state.

Hathras reflects Manu's mindset dominates: 'Women are false, it's in their nature to seduce'

By Parijat Ghosh, Dibyendu Chaudhuri*
The woman died and then we woke up to protest. She was alive for two weeks after the heinous incident. Many of us even didn’t notice what had happened at Hathras, how she fought during the next 15 days. Those who noticed, many of them were not sure what actually had happened. So much so, we as a nation were more busy in finding out who among the Bollywood actresses were taking drugs, who smoked weed, who had ‘inappropriate’ or more than one relationship, what kind of private conversations they had in their chat boxes and what not!

Gujarat literati flutter: State Akademi autonomy curb a Sahitya Parishad poll issue?

By Dankesh Oza*
The 115-year-old Gujarati Sahitya Parishad is in election mode. More than 3,000 life members of the Parishad are set to elect its 52nd president and 40 plus central working committee (CWC) members, which in turn will elect its executive and two vice presidents, six secretaries and a treasurer for the coming three years (from 2021 to 2023).

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Atrocities against Dalits: Why don't MPs, MLAs from the community ever speak up?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
In Gujarat, a young Dalit activist lawyer Devji Maheshwari, belonging to the Backward and Minority Communities Employees Federation (BAMSCEF) was killed in Surat, allegedly by a goon who was warning him against his Facebook posts not to speak up against Brahmanism. Facts have come to light suggesting there are other issues also which led to the murder, mostly related to land disputes, many a time ignored by activists.

Delhi riots: Even British didn't accuse Bhagat Singh of reading Lenin, Jack London

By Vikash Narain Rai*
After the #BlackLifeMatters movement seriously tested the credibility of police across America, the Houston police chief Art Acevado talked of ending “lawful but awful” policing. No comparison, but in India, a citizens’ committee comprising former top judges and bureaucrats is now set to inquire into the role of the state machinery and media in handling the February 2020 Delhi violence, which followed protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), “as the investigation by the Delhi Police has evoked extensive critical commentary in recent times.”