New Delhi: The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), which won the BJP-led NDA government a lot of rural women votes in the just concluded general elections, is expected to be further expanded under the incoming government with a focus on delivery and use of smaller 5 kg LPG gas cylinders. Under PMUY, gas connections are provided to BPL families with a support of Rs 1,600 for each connection. The LPG connection is provided in the name of the female member of the family. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twistOfficial sources here said that the targeted 80 million connections under PMUY will be completed in the first 100 days of the new government. So far, Ujjwala connections have reached the 71.9-million mark. After this goal is achieved, use of smaller 5 kg cylinders would be made mandatory under the scheme so that it is available across the country. “The average LPG cylinder refill under Ujjwala is a pathetic 3 per annum while the national average stands close to seven refills in a year. Price of cylinders is a big factor here as refills are not 100 per cent subsidised,” a public sector oil marketing company executive said. While the customer in Delhi has to pay about Rs 712 at the time of purchasing a 14.2-kg cylinder (within per household limit of 12 refills), the subsidy amount paid in the female subscriber’s bank account under the DBT scheme is around Rs 215. In the case of 5-kg cylinder, the current cost of the refill is around Rs 260, the subsidy that will be credited to bank account is about Rs 80.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena held a summit in Seoul on Wednesday and discussed ways to boost bilateral cooperation.During the summit, South Korea agreed to expand the size of its loans to Sri Lanka from 300 million dollars to 500 million dollars by 2019. Moon appreciated Sri Lanka’s support and cooperation in tackling the North Korean nuclear issue, KBS World Radio reported. The loans will be provided from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund, a state-run fund launched in 1987 which aims to help emerging countries with low-interest loans. Sirisena pledged to actively support Seoul’s efforts to ease tensions and establish peace on the Korean Peninsula through the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.Moon explained his New Southern Policy which aims to deepen ties with South Asia. The two leaders assessed the progress their countries have witnessed in bilateral ties since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1977 and agreed to build new cooperative relations. Accordingly, they agreed to boost high-level exchanges and cooperation in defense and defense industries. (Colombo Gazette)