In what could be a big blow to the government’s Aadhaar project, Parliamentary affairs minister Rajeev Shukla said in Rajya Sabha on Friday that the Aadhaar card is not mandatory to avail government subsidies.
“If any public sector undertaking is doing it, we will correct it,” the Minister said in response to concerns raised by members of the parliament during the zero hour. (via)
Left leader M P Achuthan said that public sector companies like oil companies have made Aadhaar mandatory to avail government subsidy on LPG and it was troubling citizen.
We wonder if the Shukla was even telling the truth? With crores of rupees spent on the project and direct cash transfer scheme, the government is way too deep into the project to pull out now.
The government has been linking pay out of subsidies to Aadhaar linked electronic transfer methods. So far nearly 40 cr Aadhaar numbers have been issued and the government designated Unique Identification Authority of India is targeting 60 cr by 2014.
Various pilot projects, such as the distribution of old age pension in Tripura, public distribution system in Andhra Pradesh, security pension in Maharashtra and LPG subsidy in Karnataka, are being implemented with the help of Aadhaar.
While the National Identification Authority of India bill is still pending, the government has approved direct cash transfers to beneficiaries of government schemes through the Aadhaar platform. It has instructed government departments to make sure that they move to this system in 2013.
This means without an Aadhaar linked bank account, you won’t be paid. What in heaven’s name does this befuddling statement mean then?