In a bid to plug leakage and corruption, the Narendra Modi government has made unique identification number Aadhar card mandatory for those availing subsidised food grain at Public Distribution System outlets.
Government has set a deadline of June 30 for people who have not still got linked with Aadhar after that the law will become effective across the country, reports PTI.
The move to make Aadhaar mandatory comes despite a Supreme Court interim order in October 2015 which allowed its voluntary use for availing of benefits but said no citizen can be denied a service or subsidy for want of Aadhaar.
However, use of Aadhaar for availing of subsidies got legislative backing after the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill was passed in Lok Sabha in March last year.
According to the National Food Security Act, 2013, India’s targeted public distribution system is the largest subsidy programme in the country which costs over Rs 1.4 trillion benefiting over 800 million people.
Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) after collecting biometric data of residents.
The government has already announced that point-of-sale (PoS) machines for credit/debit cards as well as Aadhaar-based transactions will be installed at all fair price shops and fertiliser depots over the next few months.