If a child does not have Aadhaar, the functionaries should provide enrolment facilities. (File photo)
The Centre today clarified that no one would be deprived of subsidy benefits for want of Aadhaar number, insisting that other identity proofs too would be accepted. The announcement came days after the Education Ministry on February 28 mandated that children who receive scholarships and benefits under the midday meal scheme should produce an Aadhaar number.
"No one will be deprived of the 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 MidDay Meal Scheme and the Integrated Child Development Scheme, schools and anganwadis
have been asked to collect Aadhaar number of the beneficiaries. In case a child does not have Aadhaar, the functionaries will be required to provide enrolment facilities and till then the benefits will continue," it said.
The government asserted that the total savings from some of the schemes in the past two-and-a-half-years after plugging of leakages owing to the lack of Aadhar number amounted 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 statement said.
"During the past two-and-a- 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 added.