The Government has said that no one will be deprived of the benefits for lack of Aadhaar. In a statement, the Government has reiterated that till Aadhaar number is assigned to any individual, the benefit will continue to be given based on alternate means of identification. It also directed the departments to provide Aadhaar enrolment facilities to their beneficiaries under Regulation 12 of Aadhaar (Enrolment and Update) Regulations 2016.
Considering the usefulness of Aadhaar in curbing leakages and bringing transparency in delivery system, the Government has recently issued orders to use Aadhaar in several other welfare schemes funded from the Consolidated Fund of India. While these orders require beneficiaries of these programmes to give their Aadhaar number, it has also been ensured that no one is deprived of the benefits for want of Aadhaar.
In case of Mid Day Meal scheme and under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), 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 continue.
Aadhaar has been issued to more than 112 crore people. With such a wide and extensive coverage, Aadhaar has become an important tool of transformation, good governance and empowerment of people. It ensures that the benefits reach only the deserving and entitled individuals and are not cornered away by fake persons and middlemen. Various studies and survey had earlier pointed out massive leakages in welfare schemes. During the last two and half years, Aadhaar has helped in direct delivery of benefits to crores of beneficiaries through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in schemes such as LPG subsidy under Pahal, scholarships, MNREGA, and Pensions.
In the Public Distribution System (PDS), Aadhaar is also ensuring that the food grains are received only by the genuine beneficiaries and not diverted by any middleman or unscrupulous elements. It has, thus, saved huge sums of public money which otherwise was being siphoned away by middlemen. The total savings because of plugging of leakages due to Aadhaar during the last two and half years in just a few schemes where Aadhaar has been implemented amount to more than Rs 49,000 crore.