Centre urges States to adopt Aadhaar-based payment system for MGNREGS workers to avoid wage delays

Once Aadhaar is updated in the scheme database, beneficiaries need not update account numbers due to change in location or change in bank: Rural Development Ministry

Updated - June 03, 2023 10:26 pm IST

Published - June 03, 2023 10:13 pm IST - New Delhi

The Ministry has urged States to follow-up with beneficiaries to achieve 100% coverage under the ABPS.

The Ministry has urged States to follow-up with beneficiaries to achieve 100% coverage under the ABPS. | Photo Credit:  RVS PRASAD

With reports on wage payments to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) workers failing due to frequent changes in the bank account numbers of the beneficiaries, the Union government has urged State governments to ensure that the Aadhaar-based payment system (ABPS) is enabled.

In a statement here, the Union Rural Development Ministry said that ABPS was the best route to avoid such rejections. “Once Aadhaar is updated in the scheme database, beneficiaries need not update account numbers due to change in location or change in bank,” the Ministry said.

The Ministry also expressed hope that before the June 30 deadline set by it, making it mandatory for all beneficiaries to have ABPS, 88%-90% of active MGNREGS workers would be covered. The Ministry has also asserted that workers would not be refused work if they did not have an Aadhaar number. Thus far, about 74.9% active workers have been marked eligible for the payment system, according to data on the Ministry’s website.

The Rural Development Ministry urged States to organise camps and follow-up with beneficiaries to achieve 100% coverage under the ABPS. It has also clarified that beneficiaries should be requested to provide their Aadhaar number, but should not be refused work if they do not have an Aadhar number.

Under the MGNREGS, the ABPS has been in use since 2017, the Ministry said, adding that after almost universal availability of Aadhaar number to every adult, the government has decided to extend ABPS to beneficiaries under the employment scheme. Out of the total of 14.28 crore active beneficiaries, Aadhaar has been seeded for 13.75 crore beneficiaries. Against these seeded beneficiaries, a total of 12.17 crore Aadhaar numbers had been authenticated, and 77.81% beneficiaries were now already eligible for the ABPS, the Ministry said. In May, about 88% of wage payments had been made through the ABPS, the Ministry said.

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