Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam, presenting the Union Budget 2021, announced that the centre’s Ujjwala Scheme will be extended to one crore more beneficiaries than at present. This is likely to peg the total number of beneficiaries above eight crore, reports suggest.
The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (or Ujjwala Scheme) is a central programme launched in 2016 to provide LPG connections as viable cooking options to households below the poverty line. The scheme is understood to be aimed primarily at women.
Ujjwala Scheme Given A Boost In Budget 2021
Addressing the touted expansion of the Ujjwala gas scheme, Sitharaman said that one crore beneficiaries will be added, and the system will now expand to 100 other districts to incorporate more households into the fold of the piped cooking gas lines.
She emphasised that fuel supplies ran without obtrusions during the COVID-19 lockdown, assuring that more would be done in the sector along a similar vein.
On the official website, the key benefits of the Ujjwala Scheme are stated to envisage a “smoke free Rural India and aims to benefit five crore families especially the women living below poverty line (BPL) by providing concessional LPG connections… would help in reducing health disorders, air pollution and deforestation.” The launch vision was expected to benefit the “entire nation by 2019.” Reports suggest LPG coverage jumped 62 percent in 2016 to 94 percent in 2019.
Other Points Of Note For Women In Budget 2021
The Finance Minister announced that minimum wages would now be applicable to all categories of workers in construction and building, with women being given work in all categories with necessary protection for night shifts.
A budget of Rs 1000 crores has been allocated for tea-workers, with an emphasis on women workers, especially in states of Assam and West Bengal.
While no significant changes in income tax slabs were announced, Sitharaman proposed for income tax filing systems to be eased. Benefits include exemption of senior citizens above 75 with pension incomes from tax returns and pre-filled forms when filing returns. Tax holiday for startups has been extended by a year.