Minster of Petroleum and Natural Gas; Minister of Steel, Republic of India
H.E. Dharmendra Pradhan is the cabinet minister for petroleum and natural gas and steel in the Government of India. On May 31, 2019, Shri Pradhan began his second consecutive tenure at the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, becoming the first such incumbent in the history of independent India. Shri Pradhan was promoted as a cabinet minister on September 3, 2017. As a member of parliament, Shri Pradhan currently represents Madhya Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha and was earlier a member of the fourteenth Lok Sabha.
As India’s minister of petroleum and natural gas, Shri Pradhan is attributed with several progressive reforms and initiatives, including consumer initiatives like PAHAL, the world’s largest direct benefit transfer scheme, and the #GiveItUp campaign that was liberally supported by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, aimed at encouraging affluent citizens to surrender their liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) subsidy for the needy receiving a successful response of over ten million consumers. In an attempt to empower rural India with LPG, the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana was launched by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. Since its launch, seven million LPG connections have been provided to women from Below Poverty Line (BPL) families over the past five years.
Pradhan has led some key decisions in the hydrocarbon sector. Supported by the Union Cabinet, he has implemented a new hydrocarbon exploration and licensing policy, which through its uniform licensing for explorations and production of all forms of hydrocarbons, open acreage policy, and marketing and pricing freedom will enhance domestic oil and gas production and generate sizable employment.
In his previous tenure as the minister for skill development and entrepreneurship (2017-2019), Shri Pradhan also launched key initiatives focused on reskilling and upskilling India’s manpower and bridging the skill gap for India’s youth.
A post-graduate from Utkal University in Bhubaneswar in anthropology, he has been actively pursuing several issues concerning the youth, such as unemployment, the lack of skill-based education, and rehabilitation and resettlement of farmers, and has played a major role in mobilizing the youth in Odisha.
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