The government is examining the possibility of linking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s financial inclusion scheme, Jan Dhan Yojana, with the unique identification or Aadhaar and resuming the Aadhaar linked direct benefit transfer (DBT) of subsidies under different schemes.
The issue was reportedly discussed at a meeting called by PM Modi on Saturday to review the progress of Aadhaar with special emphasis on its role in financial inclusion.
The Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana, aimed at opening bank accounts for the poor, also provides for accident insurance cover of ` 1 lakh, medical insurance of `30,000 with a free debit card for those who open accounts before January 26, 2015.
This ambitious scheme of had another dimension — the possibility of the poor opening fake bank accounts to claim the benefits. To prevent that from happening, the 12-digit biometric-based unique identification number can play an important role.
But linking the bank accounts under the scheme with Aadhaar number could lead to exclusion as not everyone has this number.
Government sources said that the PM asked the Unique Identification Authority of India and the Census Commissioner — central bodies engaged in enrolment of residents for Aadhaar — to speed up the registration and start special camps for the poor.
Sources said Modi also asked the UIDAI officials about the progress of linking Aadhaar with cash transfer of the cooking gas subsidy and the public distribution system — an ambitious project started by the previous UPA government which was put in hold on January.
The presentation on pace of enrolment by UIDAI and the Census Commissioner was made at the meeting attended by IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Home minister Rajnath Singh.
Sources said issues like duplication in enrolment by the two agencies and the verification process for getting Aadhaar were also raised. The PMO asked them to appraise the PM about enrolment and expenditure incurred so far.