New Delhi:The Narendra Modi government will match the 67-year record of previous governments by providing liquified petroleum gas (LPG) connections to 130 million families in five years of its tenure, petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the Hindustan Ratna PSU Awards 2018, Pradhan said that out of 270 million households in India, only 130 million had LPG connections four years ago. “In four years time, our government has provided 10 crore (100 million) additional LPG connections. Our aim is to provide 13 crore (130 million) LPG connections in five years of our government," he added.

The Modi administration is promoting usage of the clean cooking fuel as it saves women from pollution and saves them time. It will also improve the share of the clean fuel in the country’s fuel mix. Under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, poor women are given LPG connections without an upfront charge.

The government has been leveraging state-owned companies, especially in the energy sector, to address its strategic and economic goals, including development of the long-neglected North-east region, shifting the country’s fuel mix more toward cleaner sources and for reviving ailing fertilizer units.

Pointing to the central role PSUs play in the country’s development goals and to improve governance standards, railway, coal and finance minister Piyush Goyal, who was present on the occasion, said, “We are proud of our public sector companies, whether in the coal, mines, petroleum, banking or power sector. All these firms are serving people. And they do that without taking short-cuts."

Acknowledging that it is a a challenging task to keep PSUs performing to the highest standards, Goyal said developing quality human resource is one of the most important barometers. “The Prime Minister has identified this as a pressing need for the country as well, through the skilling initiative. It’s essential to prepare the youth to take on the challenges of tomorrow."

Insisting that this quest to create high quality human talent must begin with PSUs, he said that the true mark of change would come with the current negative connotation associated with “PSU culture" being turned into a positive tag. “Organizations must proudly say that they have a PSU culture. That is what we are working towards," Goyal added.

Gireesh Chandra Prasad contributed to this story.

My Reads Logout