**Bhubaneswar:** The Centre has asked the State Government not to worry about the progress of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) as the Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) in charge of distributing the cooking gas connections are accountable for implementation of the scheme, informed Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Surya Narayan Patro today.
“The Centre claims to have identified 15 villages in every district and distributing the gas connection as per a BPL list present with them. It is an open truth that it is a politically motivated programme of the Union Government,” said Patro.
Reply from the Centre came in accordance with a letter written by Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi to Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Secretary MM Kutty. Padhi had stated that as per a review conducted by the Commissioner-cum-Secretary of Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department the OMCs have failed to achieve the target of 2,88,636 connections to be distributed in 10 identified districts in Odisha under Extended Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (EGSA).
The objective of Gram Swaraj Abhiyan is universal coverage of seven welfare programmes of the Centre including PMUY in identified villages of the country with large number of underprivileged households. Nuapada, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Rayagada, Gajapati, Malkangiri, Koraput, Balangir and Dhenkanal have been identified as the most backward districts of the State by the NITI Aayog.
The review of PMUY progress in State under EGSA revealed that OMCs have completed the process of know your customer (KYC) of 2,60,116 beneficiaries till August 2, which is 75.36 per cent of the target and connection has been issued to 1,44,631 beneficiaries which is 42 per cent of the target.
“There is a wide gap between the KYCs completed and the connections issued. This gap should be reduced by the OMCs,” stated Padhi. He also proposed to increase the number of dealers in the target districts and suggested the OMCs should utilise the incentive of Rs 20 to an individual, who completes the documentation of the beneficiary, for early coverage of the scheme.
Odisha Government chief whip Amar Prasad Satpathy said, “Many hurdles arose in implementation of the PMUY as it was used for political purpose by the BJP. The State Government has no problem in supporting a good scheme. Chief Secretary is not using a political language but the State Government is extending administrative support even if the BJP leaders are portraying it as a flagship programme of their party.”
In reaction to the allegations, Odisha BJP vice-president Sameer Mohanty said, “It is the responsibility of the State Government to provide supportive documents to the poor people of Odisha to be identified as beneficiaries by the OMCs. The dealers will be appointed by the OMCs, however, State Government should write to Centre about the number of required dealers in a district. Why is the State Government shaking off the responsibility?”
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