Council on Energy, Environment and Water Integrated | International | Independent
Policy Brief

Realising the Ujjwala dream

Ujjwala 2.0: From Access to Sustained Usage

Sasmita Patnaik, Sunil Mani
December 2019 | Energy Transitions

Suggested citation: Patnaik, Sasmita, and Sunil Mani. 2019. “Realising the Ujjwala dream.” In Ujjwala 2.0: From Access to Sustained Usage. Harish S, Smith K.R (eds.). New Delhi: Collaborative Clean Air Policy Centre.


This policy brief identifies the challenge of indoor air pollution in rural Indian households as a result of stacking liquified petroleum gas (LPG) with biomass. It discusses four key determinants for implementing the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) better - the affordability of use, ensuring home delivery of LPG cylinders, navigating the intra-household gender dynamics impacting the use of LPG and exploring linkages with livelihood opportunities for women.

Source: iStock

Key Highlights

  • Almost 56 per cent of PMUY beneficiaries are below the poverty line, against 37 per cent in the case of non-PMUY households.
  • Reduction in the distance travelled to procure the cylinders increases the likelihood of households using more LPG. However, the median distance travelled to procure LPG stands at 4km one-way.
  • Women place the order for the cylinder in only 14 per cent of households despite PMUY providing connections in their name.
  • The use of LPG for cooking would save women’s time in cooking, cleaning and collection of biomass, enabling time for economic independence.

Key Recommendations

  • Design a differential subsidy mechanism that weans away well-to-do households from the subsidy net and provides greater support to low-income households.
  • Extend support to households through direct debit of subsidised refill amount to the linked bank account of the customers.
  • Collaborate with self-help groups, farmer cooperatives, and local civil society organisations to improve LPG availability.
  • Conduct interventions to ensure that financial support reaches the intended beneficiaries.
  • Collaborate with livelihood programmes to create opportunities for women in the LPG value chain, particularly in the states with low refill rates.
While the proportion of rural households with an LPG connection increased two-fold, from 22 per cent to 58 per cent in 2018, 81 per cent households continue to use biomass for cooking

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