On International’s Women’s Day on Wednesday, the Centre announced that Aadhaar card is now mandatory for women in the Below Poverty Line category applying for a free LPG connection. Applicants without the unique ID number have till May 31 to apply for it to avail the benefits under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas said in a notice.
Those without Aadhaar cards can enrol for one and submit a copy of their application as ID proof, along with another photo ID proof. This can be a bank passbook, voter ID card, ration card, PAN card and driving licence, among others, the notice said. In October 2016, the government had made Aadhaar compulsory to avail subsidy on LPG cylinders.
The announcement comes a day after the Centre clarified its order making Aadhaar mandatory for midday meals at government-run schools. After the decision drew criticism, the government issued a notice saying beneficiaries can continue to enjoy the welfare scheme with alternate ID proofs till they are assigned an Aadhaar number.
Between 2013 and 2015, the Supreme Court had passed three orders saying the Centre cannot make having an Aadhaar number a pre-condition to access public services. The case is now pending before a Constitution bench of the top court.