Aadhaar card no longer needed for old age, widow pensions: Delhi govt
New Delhi: The Delhi government has said it has decided to delink Aadhaar from disbursement of pensions for widows, senior citizens and people with disabilities.
The government’s social welfare department said it will pay all pensions at old rates, which it had stopped last year due to lack of Aadhaar as proof. The decision was taken during a Cabinet meeting headed by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
The AAP government had earlier this year decided against making Aadhaar numbers mandatory for distribution of ration. Similarly, having Aadhar is not mandatory for admission to Delhi government schools although the institutions still ask for it to open bank accounts for students.
“Lot of people suffering due to inability of banks to link adhar wid bank account. Today, Cabinet decided to delink adhar from widow n old age pension,” (sic) Kejriwal tweeted Tuesday afternoon.
Besides, beneficiaries will be paid the enhanced pension amount with effect from April 2018, the Delhi government said on Tuesday.
“Enhanced pension will be sent to all beneficiaries, who are so far getting pension on old rates so that they are not penalised for system-related reasons,” said a statement issued by the government.
The department has sent the pensions to its 4.18 lakh beneficiaries for April 2018, the statement added.
The government provides a quantum of Rs 2,000 per month to beneficiaries between 60 -69 years of age and Rs 2,500 per month to beneficiaries of 70 years and above. Also, an additional Rs 500 per month is given to beneficiaries between 60-69 years belonging to SC/ST and minority categories.
Under its Assistance Scheme for Persons with Special Needs, the Delhi government provides Rs 2,500 per month to persons with disabilities for all beneficiaries under 60.
“The department has dispatched pensions to 77,542 beneficiaries with disabilities for April-May 2018,” the statement said.
The pensions are meant for all beneficiaries who are residing in Delhi for a period of at least five years and their income is Rs 1 lakh or less per annum.
In 2016, the Delhi government decided not to insist on Aadhaar for disbursement of pension. However, it had then mandated that enhanced pensions will be given only to Aadhaar-linked accounts because of which 33,191 senior citizens and 9,799 disability pension beneficiaries were left out of the scheme.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) had also sent a circular to the department to not deny any benefit to people for not having Aadhaar or failure of its authentication.
The Supreme Court had in March pulled up the Centre for making Aadhaar-linked account mandatory for disbursing pensions.