Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday announced that the Congress government in the state will provide 12 cooking gas cylinders annually to poor households at a subsidised rate of Rs 500 from April 1.

Currently, the price of domestic cooking gas cylinders in Rajasthan is Rs 1,050. The slashed price of liquefied petroleum gas is meant for those below the poverty line and enrolled in the Ujjwala scheme.

The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, launched by the Bharatiya Janata Party government at the Centre, provides free cooking gas connections to families living below the poverty line.

“The road map is being prepared by the senior officials to implement the scheme in the state,” Gehlot tweeted on Monday. “Along with this, a plan will also be made by the state government to provide kits of kitchen items to the needy people.”

The announcement comes ahead of the Assembly elections that are to take place in the state next year. Gehlot also addressed the media in Alwar on Monday as he joined party leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra that had reached the city.

Besides promising to reduce the price of cooking gas cylinders, Gehlot also spoke about how the state government will be ensuring women’s safety.

The Congress leader said that an additional budget provision of Rs 60 crore has been approved in the Nirbhaya Fund for 45 Protection of Children from Sexual Offences courts running in the state. The special courts under the National Mission (Fast Track Special Court) Nirbhaya Fund receives 40% of its funding from the state government, Gehlot said.

“For this fund, an additional budget provision of Rs 40.27 crore has been approved under the state fund and Rs 19.73 crore under the central share,” Rajasthan chief minister said. “Due to this, the salary of the employees/officers posted in these POCSO courts for the next month will be drawn smoothly.”