Aadhaar mandatory for govt benefits

The AP government has decided to link Aadhaar with bank accounts to extend financial benefits under various schemes. Only those with Aadhaar-enabled bank accounts will be able to get the government benefits including pensions and scholarships. At present, only LPG subsidy is remitted to Aadhaar-enabled bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

Earlier, the state government had made Aadhaar mandatory for identification of the beneficiaries. Direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme will be implemented by the state government for all its welfare schemes. Even the national rural employment guarantee scheme will be covered under the DBT.

 The AP government’s move comes in the wake of promulgation of the Aadhaar Act. Aadhaar Payment Bridge (APB) will replace the simple electronic fund transfer system to credit money into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.
Recently, the state government held a meeting with bankers, and officials of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), rural development and agriculture departments. The state will replicate the Central government’s new guidelines on direct benefit transfer.

The AP government spends about Rs 450 crore a month on distribution of money to the beneficiaries of various schemes. It also disburses Rs 16 crore a day under the rural employment guarantee scheme. “We are training field level staff in the transfer of money to the beneficiaries. We are using a new software for the programme,” said UIDAI deputy director-general MVS Rami Reddy.

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