After cooking gas LPG, the government on Thursday made Aadhaar mandatory for availing subsidised foodgrains from the ration shops with a view to better target Rs 1.4 lakh crore subsidy under the food security law. The government has given time to those not having the biometric-based unique identification number to apply for Aadhaar by June 30. The government issued a notification to this effect but did stop short of saying that subsidised foodgrains will not be sold to anyone not having Aadhaar after June 30.
Under the National Food Security Law (NFSA), which has been completely rolled out across the country in November last year, the government provides 5 kg of foodgrains per person every month at Rs 1-3/kg to over 80 crore people. “…the Department of Food and Consumer Affairs has issued a Notification under Aadhaar Act on February 8 which requires individual beneficiaries having ration cards under NFSA to furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo Aadhaar authentication to receive subsidies under NFSA (i.e. subsidised food grains or cash Transfer of Food Subsidy under NFSA),” an official statement said.
The notification would come into effect from February 8 in all states and UTs except Assam, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir. This will also be applicable to all the new beneficiaries. “Beneficiaries under NFSA who do not possess the Aadhaar number or are not yet enrolled for Aadhaar, but are desirous of availing subsidies under NFSA are required to make application for Aadhaar enrolment by June 30, 2017 and may visit any Aadhaar enrolment centre to get enrolled for Aadhaar,” the statement said.
The notification has been issued since subsidised foodgrains under PDS and cash transfer of food subsidy under NFSA involves recurring expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India, it added. Till Aadhaar is assigned to the beneficiaries, the government said foodgrains would be provided on production of ration card and either Aadhaar enrolment ID slip or copy of his/her request made to state government for Aadhaar enrolment alongwith any of the 8 documents.
These are Voter ID Card, PAN, Passport, Driving License, Certificate of Identity with photo issued by Gazetted Officer/ Tehsildar on official letter head, address card having name and photo issued by Department of Posts, Kisan Photo Passbook and any other document as specified by State/UT Governments. The beneficiaries can make request for Aadhaar enrolment by giving their name, address, mobile number with ration card number and other details with their fair price shop owners or through the web portal provided for the purpose by State/UT Governments.