Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi govt approves delinking social welfare pension schemes from Aadhaar

ANI | Updated: Jul 31, 2018 21:46 IST

New Delhi [India], Jul 31 (ANI): The Delhi Cabinet on Tuesday accepted the Social Welfare Department's proposal to not make Aadhaar and Aadhaar linked bank accounts mandatory for receiving the old age, disability and widows pensions provided by the Delhi government.
In a meeting chaired by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, it was decided that the Department will dispatch all the pensions that were stopped due to lack of Aadhaar at old rates.
It was also decided in the meeting that enhanced pension will be provided with effect from April 2018, to all beneficiaries who are getting pension at old rates so that beneficiaries are not penalized for system related reasons.
The Social Welfare Department is responsible for implementing Old Age Assistance (Pension) to all senior citizens who are residents of Delhi for at least five years and have family incomes of Rs. 1,00,000/- or less per annum.
Around 4.18 lakh people have received the benefits of this scheme in April, 2018.
There is another scheme called the Disability Pension by the department which provides financial assistance for all people with disability who are residents of Delhi for at least five years and have family income of Rs. 1,00,000/- or less per annum.
Currently, the amount of assistance is Rs. 2500/- per month. About 77, 542 people have received assistance in this scheme for April-May 2018.
Even though it was decided by the Cabinet in 2016 to not make Aadhaar mandatory for remittance of pension, the enhanced pension was mandated to be given only to Aadhaar seeded accounts. Therefore, a total of 33,191 Old Age Pension beneficiaries and 9,799 Disability Pension beneficiaries were unable to take benefit of enhanced pension for no fault of theirs, merely because of systemic issues of the banks and /or Department.
According to Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, it was stipulated that no beneficiary should be denied benefit for want of Aadhaar or failure of Aadhaar authentication. It was also added that those individuals would be offered alternate mode of identification. Also, departments using Aadhaar as identifier for delivery of service/ benefits should have exception handling mechanism.
The Department has received another circular from Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which issues Aadhaar, regarding the same. UIDAI has further suggested that till Aadhaar is assigned to a beneficiary, services should be provided based on alternate identification documents as notified by the the department. (ANI)