If you haven't linked your Aadhaar number with various government welfare schemes, then you may well be prepared to let go of the benefits from April 1. The Supreme Court has decided not to extend the March 31 deadline for linking Aadhaar with government schemes.
If you haven’t linked your Aadhaar number with various government welfare schemes, then you may well be prepared to let go of the benefits from April 1. The Supreme Court has decided not to extend the March 31 deadline for linking Aadhaar with government schemes. The government had on many occasions said that by making Aadhaar linkage mandatory, it has managed to fix the leakage in the system, resulting in saving several crores of rupees.
In its earlier order dated March 13, the Supreme Court had indefinitely extended the Aadhaar linking deadline for services other than those listed under Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act that primarily pertains to subsidies and government services.
The Supreme Court is presently hearing a batch of petitions challenging the Constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act. Petitioners have argued that the government was violating the right to privacy of citizens by collecting their biometric details. However, the government has contended that it was not interfering in anyone’s privacy by collecting biometric data. Till date, the UIDAI has issued 12-digit Aadhaar number to 1.19 billion citizens in the country.
Earlier this month, the SC had extended indefinitely the March 31 deadline for linking Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile numbers till it passes the final order in the case. Yesterday, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) also announced grant of three extra months to citizens for linking Aadhaar with PAN. The deadline is now June 30.
Here’s the list of services that must be linked with Aadhaar before March 31 if you want to continue availing benefits:
LPG and Kerosene subsidies
If you have not linked your Aadhaar number with LPG and Kerosene, you won’t be able to receive the subsidy benefits in your bank account post-March 31. After SC’s order earlier this month to extend the Aadhaar linkage date with bank accounts and mobile number indefinitely, the IRDAI too announced the extension of the deadline for linking the 12-digit biometric number with insurance policies. But this extension will not apply to subsidies like LPG and Kerosene.
The government has made Aadhaar mandatory for beedi, iron ore and limestone workers for seeking house subsidy. Under the Integrated Housing Scheme, the government offers higher housing subsidies to around 75 lakh such workers. The government gives Rs 1.5 lakh as subsidy through DBT.
Supplementary Nutrition Programme
The Supplementary Nutrition Program, run by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, mandates linking Aadhaar with the Ministry before March 31. The scheme is one of the six services provided under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme. It is designed to bridge the gap between the Recommended Dietary Allowance (FDA) and the Average Daily Intake (ADI).
Farmers who want to avail crop insurance benefits and people who are eligible for subsidised foodgrains, cash subsidy should link their Aadhaar numbers by March 31. The scheme was rolled out by the Modi government last year. It aims to cover crop losses due to natural calamities like flood, drought by promising very low premium.
Soil Health Card Scheme
To continue enjoying the benefits of the government-run Soil Health Card Scheme and Soil Health Management Scheme, Aadhaar linkage deadline ends on March 31. Both the schemes were launched by the Centre in 2015. Under these schemes, the government educates farmers about the nutrients and fertilisers required for farming to improve to final output.
Janani Suraksha Yojana
The Janani Suraksha Yojana was launched with an objective to promote delivery among poor pregnant women and to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality. Under this scheme, pregnant women are also eligible for cash assistance from the government. To continue getting benefits, one must share her Aadhaar number with the authority. The last day to register your Aadhaar details is March 31. March 31 is also the last day for registering Aadhaar number to get benefits of the Integrated Department of Horticulture and National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme.
National Mission for Empowerment of Women (NMEW)
Aadhaar linking is also mandatory for financial support under National Mission for Empowerment of Women (NMEW). Last day to register is March 31. NMEW is an initiative of the government that aims to empower women holistically. The features of the mission include ensuring economic and social empowerment, elimination of violence against women among others.
National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship
March 31 is also the last day for students availing central scholarship and financial support under National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship to link their Aadhaar numbers. Under this scheme, which was launched in 2008, the government awards scholarships to meritorious students who are economically weak. The objective is to arrest their dropout at Class 8 and encourage them to pursue education at the secondary stage.