New Delhi, Mar 28: The Centre has notified the new Aadhaar Act which gives the numbers assigned by it a statutory backing for transfer of subsidies and benefits to people eligible for them.
The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, benefits and services) Act, 2016 will provide for "efficient, transparent, and targeted delivery of subsidies, benefits and services, the expenditure for which is incurred from the Consolidated Fund of India, to individuals residing in India through assigning of unique identity numbers to such individuals", said the notification dated March 26.
It will be used for all benefit that will linked to consolidated fund of India. The Aadhaar Bill for this act was approved by Parliament on March 16. It was tabled in Parliament as money bill.
However, those individuals to whom Aadhaar number has not been assigned, the Act said that they "shall be offered alternate and viable means of identification for delivery of the subsidy, benefit or service".
The Aadhaar number will not be a proof of citizenship or domicile. "The Authority (UIDAI) shall take special measures to issue Aadhaar number to women, children, senior citizens, persons with disability, unskilled and unorganised workers, nomadic tribes or to such other persons who do not have any permanent dwelling house and such other categories of individuals as may be specified by regulations," said the Act.
It has provision that both centre and state government can use Aadhaar for disbursal for benefits and subsidies.
The Act provides for statutory backing to the UIDAI by providing for establishment of the Unique Identification Authority of India consisting of a Chairperson (part time or full time) and two Members (part time).
The bill has penalty provision which includes imprisonment in the range of one to three years or penalty in the ranges of Rs 10,000 to Rs 1 lakh for violation of the rules.
Till date 99.64 crore Aadhaar numbers have been issued. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had informed Parliament this month that targeted subsidy through Aadhar cards of LPG consumers had resulted in over Rs 15,000 crore of savings at the Centre.
Four states which had started PDS delivery by a similar exercise on a pilot basis, had saved more than Rs 2,300 crore.