Subsidy won’t be denied for want of Aadhaar: Venkaiah Naidu1 min read . Updated: 29 Jul 2016, 11:53 PM IST
Ministries advised to use alternative means of identification to ensure beneficiaries who do not have Aadhaar are not denied benefits, says urban development minister
New Delhi: Subsidy meant for the poor will not be denied for want of an Aadhaar number, Union minister of urban development, housing and urban poverty alleviation and parliamentary affairs M. Venkaiah Naidu said on Friday in reply to concerns raised by parliamentarians in the Rajya Sabha.
Various ministries have been advised to use alternative means of identification to ensure that beneficiaries who do not have Aadhaar are not denied their benefits, Naidu said, adding that at present, more than 103 crore people or 97% of the country’s adult population have Aadhaar numbers.
The minister said that there could be some areas in states such as Assam and Meghalaya where people may not have got Aadhaar numbers and therefore agencies implementing welfare schemes had been asked to cater to all beneficiaries using Aadhaar or alternative means of identification.
“Till Aadhaar is assigned to such beneficiaries, the benefits should not be denied to them and, instead, be given through alternative and viable means of identification as provided in Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act. This will ensure that no genuine and deserving beneficiary is denied his entitlements," Naidu said.
Aadhaar is now the mainstay of the government’s direct benefit transfer programme after the enactment of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016. The law provides for directly transferring benefits to intended beneficiaries’ bank accounts linked to the 12-digit biometric identity number provided by the Unique Identification Authority of India. So far, ₹ 40,488 crore of LPG subsidy has been directly transferred to the bank accounts of 15.8 crore customers having Aadhar. The government is now implementing a pilot project on Aadhaar-based direct bank transfer of kerosene subsidy to consumers in 26 districts in eight states.
The clarification came after members in the Upper House said Aadhaar was being made mandatory for availing benefits like subsidized LPG, supplies through state public distribution system and pensions.