The Central Government launched a unique identity project called Aadhaar in 2009 that would represent every person residing in India. The current government gave it more teeth and made it mandatory for everyone to link it with various schemes and instruments. This has already helped the government to plug a lot of leakage in the distribution of subsidies through DBT. Let us have a look at some of the schemes where Aadhaar card has been made mandatory:
1. PAN (Permanent Account Number)
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has made it mandatory for people filing income tax returns to link their PAN with Aadhaar. The deadline set for this linking is 31st March, 2018 after which ITRs filed would not be processed by the institution and the assessee will be considered as non-tax paying individual.
Assessees can link their PAN with Aadhar by visiting https://goo.gl/myxFPy or by simply sending an SMS in the format UIDPAN to 567678 or 56161 from the registered mobile number. It should be kept in mind that in case of any mismatch, PAN and Aadhaar will not be linked. In such cases, assessees will have to first get their details corrected and then link both the documents.
2. Bank Account
Account holders having savings account in all banks have to link their bank accounts with Aadhar to prevent their accounts from getting deactivated. The last date for linking bank accounts with Aadhaar is 31st March 2018. Bank accounts not linked with Aadhar after the deadline will be deactivated till the account holder links it with Aadhaar.
Various banks have provided different options for linking bank accounts with Aadhaar such as by visiting the website, through internet banking, mobile banking, phone banking, SMS, ATMs or by visiting the branch of the bank where the account is being operated. It should be kept in mind that a person has to link all his operational accounts with Aadhaar.
3. Mobile Verification
A number of mobile connections have been issued on fake documents which are being used for illegal activities by anti-social elements. To rectify the mistake of telecom service providers (TSPs), the government has directed them to link all mobile connections with Aadhaar based on a judgement passed by the Supreme Court.
Earlier, the deadline set for re-verifying all mobile connections was 6th February, 2018, but this has been extended to 31st March, 2018. Mobile subscribers can re-verify their mobile numbers either by visiting the retailer/mobile store or through the OTP service started by the TSPs. It is worth noting that the service is free and no fee is charged from customers. Also, if a person has multiple mobile connections, he has to link all of them with his Aadhaar.
The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has made it mandatory for its members to link their UAN (Universal Account Number) with Aadhaar. This linking will enable them to check their PF balance, submit claims and withdraw funds online through the EPF member portal. The last date to link your UAN with Aadhar is 31st March, 2018.
This step will help in removing duplicity of accounts, the digital signature of accounts will not be required during transfer of accounts and no attestation of the employer will be required during withdrawal. The easiest method to link your UAN with Aadhaar is by visiting the EPF member portal, logging in to your account and updating your e-KYC details.
5. LPG Subsidy – Pahal
The Central Government has linked bank accounts of all domestic LPG users with their connections and has been disbursing the subsidy amount directly in the bank accounts of beneficiaries for more than a couple of years now.
The last date for providing Aadhaar details has been set to 31st March, 2018, post which connections not linked with Aadhar will stop receiving subsidy benefits permanently. People can visit the Gas Agency to get their Aadhaar linked with their connection and continue receiving subsidy benefits.
6. Academic Scholarship
The government has made it mandatory for students to furnish their Aadhaar at the time of filling the form or while enrolment to avail academic scholarships and other educational benefits. Aadhaar also has been made mandatory for sitting in NIOS examinations.
Applicants filling UGC and NET forms also have to mention their Aadhaar compulsorily else their admit cards will not be issued. The government has been able to strike out 2,72,000 fake students in just 3 states when it linked Aadhaar with mid-day meal beneficiaries.
7. Ration Card
A huge chunk of subsidised food and other stuff provided by the government to people below poverty level went into the black market and the actual beneficiaries were deprived of the benefits provided by the government. To stop corruption and plug this leakage, the government linked the ration card of beneficiaries with their Aadhaar.
This has helped them to provide facilities to beneficiaries quickly. The last date for linking ration card with Aadhaar has been set to 31st March, 2018. In order to link your ration card with Aadhar, visit the ration shop and provide your ration card along with the self-attested copy of your Aadhaar to the store operator and get it linked in no time.
8. Crop Insurance for Farmers
Farmers face a number of issues due to low produce or natural calamity such as flood, drought, storm, etc. The government has made provisions to insure crop production of farmers. This will help them economically when there is a tragedy or calamity.
Crop insurance is available for both rabi and kharif seasons and all types of crops, be it cereals, oilseeds, cash crops or any other. However, to avail the facility of crop insurance, farmers need to provide their Aadhaar details. The deadline set for linking the crop insurance scheme with Aadhaar is 31st March 2018.
The Aadhaar linking process has started showing positive results in terms of timely and targeted subsidy disbursal. The government has been able to plug the loopholes and tap the leakage in the system with the help of Aadhaar.
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