The Delhi government on July 31, 2018 approved a proposal of its Social Welfare Department to do away with the requirement of linking the 12-digit Aadhaar number with bank accounts to avail the benefits of welfare schemes including old age, disability and widow pensions.
The decision was taken during a state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Explaining the move, the Chief Minister said that a lot of people were suffering due to the inability of banks to link Aadhaar with bank accounts.
• The Social Welfare department will now remit all the pensions stopped due to lack of Aadhaar linkage.
• The increased pension will be remitted with effect from April 2018, to all beneficiaries who are getting the pension on old rates so that beneficiaries are not penalised for system related reasons.
• The section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, 2016 and a circular of the UIDAI clearly states that no beneficiary should be denied benefit for the want of Aadhaar or failure of Aadhaar authentication and they should be offered an alternative and viable means of identification.
• The Social Welfare Department is responsible for implementing old age assistance, commonly known as old age pension for senior citizens in Delhi.
• The Department provides Rs 2,000 per month as old age pension to people aged between 60 and 69 years, and Rs 2,500 to those who aged 70 years or above.
• The eligibility criterion for receiving the assistance is residence in Delhi for at least 5 years and annual family income of Rs one lakh or less.
• Till April 2018, the department remitted assistance to around 4.18 lakh beneficiaries.
• Under the disability pension, the welfare department provides Rs 2,500 per month to the eligible people.
• In 2016, the Cabinet had decided for not insisting upon Aadhaar for remittance of pension but it was mandated that the enhanced pension will be given only to Aadhaar seeded accounts.
• As a result, a total of 33,191 old age pension beneficiaries and 9,799 disability pension beneficiaries were unable to get the increased pension.
Who: Delhi Government