From April 1, workers in rural areas enrolled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), which mandates 100 days of work for a household a year, must have Aadhaar.
Alternate Temporary identification cards
Ration card, driving licence, voter identity card, Kisan passbook with photo, job card issued under the MGNREGS and a certificate issued by a gazetted officer or a tehsildar will be admissible as proof of identity for the people to get the benefits till they get Aadhaar.
Legal basis to make Aadhar compulsory
The government has invoked Section 7 of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016.
The Section mandates that when the government gives subsidy, benefit or service from the Consolidated Fund of India (CFI), an individual can be asked to undergo authentication or furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar. The expenditure for the MGNREGS is met from the CFI.
Benefits of the move to make Aadhar mandatory:
1. The move to make Aadhaar mandatory for the MGNREGS will prevent leakages of subsidies.
2. Ensure that the beneficiaries get their due.
Widening DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) scheme
The DBT scheme, aimed at checking leakages of welfare funds, was launched on January 1, 2013 to cover 24 schemes of eight Ministries. Under the DBT, all cash benefits are transferred to the beneficiary’s bank account.
The Centre has asked its departments and the State governments to widen the scope of the DBT scheme to include all monetary and in-kind transfers.
Aadhar also mandatory under EPF Scheme
The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation has also made it mandatory for 50 lakh pensioners and four crore subscribers to provide either the Aadhaar number or proof that they have applied for it.