Farmers selling cotton to Cotton Corporation of India at minimum support price (MSP) need to submit the unique identity, Aadhaar, as per a notification issued by the Central government. Some states, such as Tamil Nadu, have already implemented Aadhaar submission by farmers to avail MSP or incentives for paddy.

“An individual eligible for receiving the benefits under the Scheme shall be required to furnish proof of possession of an Aadhaar number or undergo Aadhaar authentication,” according to the notification, dated April 17 and issued by Textiles Ministry. Further, it mentioned that this will come into effect on the date of its publication in the Official Gazette in all the States and Union territories.

The MSP for medium staple cotton for 2022-23 kharif season is ₹6,080, while for long staple cotton is ₹6,380.

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According to the notification, the use of Aadhaar as an identity document for delivery of services or benefits or subsidies simplifies the Government delivery processes, brings in transparency and efficiency, and enables beneficiaries to get their entitlements directly in a convenient and seamless manner by obviating the need to produce multiple documents to prove one’s identity. The Textiles Ministry is administering the procurement of seed cotton by Cotton Corporation of India Limited with an objective to provide MSP whenever price falls below it.

Under the Scheme, MSP for the cotton procured from farmers is given to farmers by the Implementing Agency as per the Scheme and guidelines issued. The benefit under the scheme involves recurring expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India (CFI), which is why Centre has issued the notification

In case, the farmer does not have an Aadhaar, but has applied, he will have to submit the Aadhaar Enrolment Identification slip along with any of the identity documents. These documents include a Bank or Post office Passbook with Photo, Permanent Account Number (PAN) Card, Passport, Voter Identity Card, Driving License, or Certificate of identity having photo of such person issued by a Gazetted Officer or a Tehsildar on an official letter head.

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In cases, where Aadhaar authentication fails due to poor biometrics of the beneficiaries or due to any other reason, the notification has also suggested remedial mechanisms. Accordingly, in case of poor fingerprint quality, iris scan or face authentication facility will be adopted for authentication. In case biometric authentication through fingerprints or iris or face authentication is not successful, authentication by Aadhaar OTP will be offered. In cases where biometric or Aadhaar OTP authentication is not possible, benefits under the Scheme may be given on the basis of a physical Aadhaar letter whose authenticity can be verified through the Quick Response (QR) code printed on the Aadhaar letter.