Cabinet approves delinking social welfare pension schemes from Aadhar
The Delhi Cabinet in its meeting on Tuesday chaired by the Chief Minister, Shri Arvind Kejriwal approved the Social Welfare Department’s proposal to delink Aadhar and Aadhar linked bank account for receiving the old age, disability and widows pensions provided by the Delhi government.
The Department will remit at old rates, all pensions stopped due to lack of Aadhaar. Further, enhanced pension will be remitted with effect from April 2018, to all beneficiaries who are getting pension on old rates so that beneficiaries are not penalized for system related reasons.
The Department is responsible implementing Old Age Assistance, commonly known as Old Age Pension for senior citizens of Delhi. This assistance is available to all senior citizens who are residents of Delhi for at least five years and having family income of Rs. 1,00,000/- or less per annum.
Currently, the quantum of assistance is Rs. 2,000/- per month to beneficiaries between 60-69 year and Rs. 2500/- per month to beneficiaries 70 years and above. However, an additional Rs. 500/- per month is given to beneficiaries between 60-69 years belonging to SC/ST/minority categories. Department has remitted assistance to 4.18 lakh beneficiaries for April-2018.
The Department is also implementing financial Assistance Scheme for Persons with Special Needs, commonly known as Disability Pension. As per current scheme norms, this assistance is available to all persons with disability between 0-60 years who are residents of Delhi for at least five years and having family income of Rs. 1,00,000/- or less per annum. Currently, the quantum of assistance is Rs. 2500/- per month. Department has remitted assistance to 77,542 beneficiaries for April-May 2018.
While it was decided by the Cabinet in 2016 not to insist upon Aadhaar for remittance of pension, the enhanced pension was mandated to be given only to Aadhaar seeded accounts. Therefore, a total of 33,191 Old Age Pension beneficiaries and 9,799 Disability Pension beneficiaries are unable to take benefit of enhanced pension for no fault of theirs, merely because of systemic issues of the banks and /or Department.
Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, 2016 clearly stipulates that in no case beneficiary be denied benefit for want of Aadhaar or failure of Aadhaar authentication. It further stipulates that such individuals should be offered alternate and viable mean of identification and Departments using Aadhaar as identifier for delivery of service/ benefits to necessarily have and exception handling mechanism.
The Department has received another circular from UIDAI that beneficiaries are not to be denied the benefit, subsidy or service due to not having Aadhaar, failure of authentication or any other extraneous circumstances. UIDAI has further suggested following exception handling mechanism to ensure seamless delivery of subsidy, benefit or service to the beneficiary-
a. Till the time Aadhaar is assigned to a beneficiary, he/she shall be provided subsidy, benefit or service based on alternate identification document as notified by the Department.”
b. In case of failure of Biometric authentication due to network/connectivity issue or due to poor biometric of resident etc., he/she shall be provided subsidy, benefit or service based on possession of Aadhaar by him/her as provided in Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, 2016 and the notification.”
c. The State Governments/implementing Agency should also make special arrangements for bed ridden senior residents to get them verified/authenticated including but not limited to sending a village level worker to their home for this purpose.”
Given the above situation, it has decided to remit all pensions stopped due to lack of Aadhaar.