New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday clarified that no one will be deprived of the benefits of subsidy schemes for the want of Aadhaar number and other identity proofs will be accepted.
The move comes after various opposition parties objected to the HRD Ministry's announcement of making Aadhaar mandatory for receiving scholarships and benefits under the mid-day meal scheme.
"No one will be deprived of benefits for lack of Aadhaar. Till Aadhaar number is assigned to any individual, the benefit will continue to be given based on alternate means of identification," an official statement said.
"In case of Mid Day Meal scheme and under the Integrated Child Development Scheme, schools and anganwadis have been asked to collect Aadhaar number of the beneficiaries and in case a child does not have Aadhaar, the functionaries will be required to provide enrollment facilities and till then the benefits will continue," it said.
The government asserted that the total savings in some schemes after plugging of leakages due to want of Aadhaar number in the last two and a half years amount to more than Rs 49,000 crore.
Aadhaar has become an important tool of transformation, good governance and empowerment of people, it said.
"Considering the usefulness of Aadhaar, the government has recently issued orders to use it in several welfare schemes. While these orders require beneficiaries to give their Aadhaar number, it has also been ensured that no one is deprived of the benefits for want of it," the release said.
"During the last two and half years, Aadhaar has helped in direct delivery of benefits to crores of people through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in schemes such as LPG subsidy under Pahal, Scholarships, MNREGA, and Pensions.
"In the Public Distribution System, Aadhaar is ensuring that food grains are received only by genuine beneficiaries and are not diverted by any middle man or unscrupulous elements," it said.