Govt. casts Aadhaar net wider at banks

The Supreme Court had allowed using Aadhaar for programmes including Jan Dhan Yojana — FILE PHOTO  

The government will treat all bank accounts receiving government subsidies as Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) accounts in a bid to widen the scope of Aadhaar, according to a senior ministry official working for the Information Technology department.

“In banking terms, there is nothing called as a Jan Dhan account (under PMJDY). Either there is savings, deposits or current account. So, if tomorrow we say all the beneficiary account is a Jan Dhan account, we are protected by the Supreme Court order. We have told the department of financial services (in Finance Ministry) to treat all accounts getting benefits from the consolidated fund of India be treated as Jan Dhan accounts,” the official told The Hindu.

Bank accounts of all those who didn’t have a previous account was named as a Jan Dhan account when the PMJDY scheme was launched, the official said.

The Supreme Court, in an interim ruling last year, had allowed using Aadhaar, a unique identification number, for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the PMJDY, and pension schemes of states and the Centre.

Although a legal backing to the Aadhaar number has been secured in the Parliament, the government had recently said that it will approach the Supreme Court to widen the use of Aadhaar number for new schemes since the matter is pending before a Constitutional Bench at present.

“One of the core issues of concern articulated in the court was that we don’t have a legal backing for Aadhaar. I think there is a proper law now. “We will persuade the SC to release more avenues for using Aadhaar,” IT and Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said at a press conference earlier this month while announcing that over 100 crore people have an Aadhaar number now.

Meanwhile, the government is creating a single household database of citizens, known as social security platform, in a bid to identify government scheme beneficiaries.

An inter-ministerial meeting was held in the Cabinet Secretariat recently, officials said, and a concept note on the social security platform was circulated.

Since most of the benefits are household entitlements, government will integrate the Aadhaar numbers with the National Population Register (NPR) data and Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) data to create a family database along with the socio-economic profile of the beneficiary, officials said.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 2:18:20 PM |

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