New Delhi: No citizen will be denied any benefits for want of an Aadhaar card and if required, necessary instructions will be issued, Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu said here on Friday.
Some Rajya Sabha members raised the issue of making the Aadhaar card mandatory for availing government benefits like subsidised domestic cooking gas cylinders, food supplies and pensions.
Taking note of the members’ concerns, Naidu said it would be ensured no genuine and deserving beneficiary is denied his/her entitlements.
Section 7 of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, provides that the central or state government may make possession of an Aadhaar number a condition for receipt of government subsidies, benefits or services.
“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,” Naidu said.
As of now, more than 103 crore people have Aadhaar card/number. But there could be some areas in the country where people may not have got an Aadhaar card as yet, he said.
“Therefore, ministries, departments and agencies that are implementing government welfare schemes and are using or proposing to use Aadhaar for extending benefits or services are requested to take proactive steps to facilitate and ensure Aadhaar enrolment of their beneficiaries who do not have Aadhaar numbers/cards,” he said.
“Till Aadhaar number is assigned to such beneficiaries, the benefits should not be denied to them and, instead, be given through alternate and viable means of identification as provided in Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act,” the minister added.
The minister said Aadhaar’s use will remove bogus beneficiaries and ensure benefits for bona fide persons only.