In July, the government had allowed women beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) up to September to claim any unclaimed free LPG connections as part of the COVID-19 relief.
In March, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced that as part of its relief package - 'Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana' - about 8 crore women beneficiaries under the Ujjawala scheme would receive three 14.2-kg LPG cylinders free of cost.
But since not all rural and poor households - the principal beneficiaries of the Ujjwala scheme - consume one cylinder every month, some could not avail their full quota of three cylinders. Therefore, the government had extended the period for availing the free cooking gas by three months till September-end.
Those who could not avail the free LPG cylinder up till 30 September will not be able to do so anymore.
The relaxation was available only to those beneficiaries who have been credited with the advance for buying the cylinder but have not been able to purchase the refill.
According to the procedure, the price of one cylinder is paid as advance into bank accounts of beneficiaries. Once the beneficiary uses this amount to buy a cylinder from the market, the advance amount for the next refill will be credited to bank accounts.
Beneficiaries who could not use the money in their account to buy an LPG refill before 30 June were given the opportunity to do so by 30 September.
Note that no fresh transfer of money was made into bank accounts after 30 June and only unutilized credits for the purchase of LPG was allowed till September.