No one will be denied of benefits for want of Aadhaar : Venkaiah Naidu
With reference to the discussions in the Rajya Sabha, the Hon’ble Members had brought to notice that Aadhaar card is being made mandatory for availing government benefits like subsidized LPG, PDS supplies and pensions. Taking note of the concerns raised by the members, Hon’ble Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Shri Venkaiah Naidu while assuring the members that the Government had taken note of the concerns raised, stated that no one will be denied of benefits for want of Aadhaar and that necessary instructions will be issued, if required.
In this regard, it is stated that the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 received the assent of the Hon’ble President on 25th March, 2016 and the Act was published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, Section 1, dated the 26th March, 2016 as Act No. 18 of 2016 by the Legislative Department.
Section 7 of the Act provides that Central or State Government may make possession of an Aadhaar number or Aadhaar Authentication, a condition for receipt of subsidies, benefits or services, which are funded out of the Consolidated Fund of India. However, the Proviso to the said section states that an individual, who has not been assigned an Aadhaar number, shall be enrolled for Aadhaar and offered alternate and viable means of Identification for receipt of subsidy, benefit or service till Aadhaar number is assigned to him.
As of now, more than 103 Crore people have Aadhaar. So far as coverage of Aadhaar among adults are concerned, 97% of them have Aadhaar. However, there could be some areas in our country such as Assam, Meghalaya, etc. where people may not have got Aadhaar as yet. Therefore, Ministries / Departments/Agencies/State Governments that are implementing Govt. welfare schemes and are using or proposing to use Aadhaar for benefit or service delivery are requested to take proactive steps to facilitate and ensure Aadhaar enrolment of their beneficiaries who are not having Aadhaar and till Aadhaar is assigned to such beneficiaries, the benefits should not be denied to him and, instead, be given through alternate and viable means of identification as provided in Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act. This will ensure that that no genuine and deserving beneficiary is denied of his entitlements. Use of Aadhaar will eliminate corruption, ensure hassle-free and faster and direct delivery of benefits into bank account, or in kind, without any intermediaries and diversions. Use of Aadhaar will also remove bogus and duplicates and ensure that benefits that are meant for a beneficiary is only enjoyed by him and not cornered away by others. The departments may consider including this clarification in their scheme guidelines/instructions and advise state governments and their agencies accordingly.
Accordingly, all Ministries/Departments/Agencies may take suitable action in this regard, so that individuals, who do not have Aadhaar, are not put to any hardships by way of denial of subsidy, benefit or service for want of Aadhaar.