Benefits won’t be stopped for not having Aadhaar, says Centre

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 13, 2018 Published on March 07, 2017

Alternate means of identification can be shown for availing benefits

No one will be deprived of the benefits for lack of Aadhaar, the government said on Tuesday, adding that other means of identification can be used till an Aadhaar number is assigned, even for the mid-day meal scheme.

In a statement, the government said in “the case of Mid Day Meal scheme and under the Integrated Child Development Scheme, the schools and Anganwadis have been asked to collect the Aadhaar number of the children beneficiaries and in case a child does not have Aadhaar, the school or ICDS functionary will be required to provide enrolment facilities to a child and till Aadhaar number is assigned, the benefits will be continued.”

It also directed the departments to provide Aadhaar enrolment facilities to their beneficiaries under Regulation 12 of Aadhaar (Enrolment and Update) Regulations 2016.

The government’s clarification comes after widespread criticism for making Aadhaar mandatory in a host of public schemes. Civil society members and Opposition parties, such as the Congress, Trinamool Congress and Left have decried Aadhar linkage to the mid-day meal scheme, and have said that they will raise the matter in the upcoming Parliament sitting.

In its statement, the government reiterated the “usefulness of Aadhaar in curbing leakages and bringing transparency in delivery system,’ adding that it has recently issued orders to use Aadhaar in several other welfare schemes funded from the Consolidated Fund of India.

“Aadhaar is also ensuring that the foodgrains are received only by the genuine beneficiaries and not diverted by any middle man or unscrupulous elements. It has, thus, saved huge sums of public money which otherwise was being siphoned away by middlemen,” the government said, adding that “total savings because of plugging of leakages due to Aadhaar during the last two and half years in just a few schemes amount to more than Rs 49,000 crore.”

Published on March 07, 2017
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