The Narendra Modi government has now made Aadhaar mandatory for availing subsidies on purchase of kerosene, and benefits of Atal Pension Yojana, said a PTI report. Those availing of kerosene subsidy or contributing to the pension scheme will now have to furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number or their enrolment for it, government officials said on Sunday.
They further stated that the last date for furnishing proof of Aadhaar or enrolling for it is September 30 for the kerosene subsidy, and June 15 for the Atal Pension Yojana.
However, till the Aadhaar card is obtained, other documents such as ration card, driving licence, voter identity card, Kisan passbook with photo, job card issued under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and a certificate issued by a gazetted officer or a tehsildar will be considered as identity proof to avail of the benefits. Aadhaar will also be linked to the ration card or the bank account used for availing the benefits.
The government has said that linking Aadhaar with one’s bank account will enable cash transfer benefit. It has introduced Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme through which the subsidy is transferred directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.
It also said making Aadhaar mandatory for the kerosene subsidy and Atal Pension Yojana will prevent leakages and ensure beneficiaries get their due. The government allocates subsidised kerosene to the states and Union Territories, in order to provide affordable cooking fuel to those living below the poverty line.
Under the Atal Pension Yojana, which can be availed of by those between 18 and 40 years of age, the subscriber will receive a minimum guaranteed pension between Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 per month after the age of 60. The amount of monthly pension depends upon the contribution of the beneficiary.
The same amount of pension is paid to the subscriber’s spouse. On the demise of both the subscriber and their spouse, the accumulated pension amount is received by their nominee.
The Centre had also made it compulsory last month to link Aadhaar to one’s Permanent Account Number by June 30.
The Supreme Court had on May 19 had refused to stay the government’s notifications making Aadhaar mandatory for some welfare schemes. Responding to a series of petitions, the apex court had said that it would hear the matter next on June 27.
On April 21, the Supreme Court had questioned the Centre’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for filing Income Tax returns despite its repeated orders that the unique identification programme cannot be made compulsory. In March, the court had asserted that Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory for welfare schemes – as established in previous interim orders. This was after the bench had reminded the Centre in August 2015 that use of Aadhaar must be voluntary.