Sushil Kr Singh, the BJP MP from Aurangabad, Bihar, tells The Indian Express that all issues should be resolved before Aadhaar is linked to welfare benefits.
You raised an issue about trouble people face in linking Aadhaar with government benefits.
There are a few issues linked to Aadhaar. Pension money of millions of senior citizens, handicapped people and women has been blocked. As you age, your thumb impression vanishes. When you approach the authorities for availing the benefits, you will be told that impressions (stored) with the authorities were mismatching. Many people in my village are not getting pension for last few months (because of this).
You also spoke about other problems.
Senior citizens face issues because your eyes go bad after a certain age. Their pensions are not released because they could not get their iris matching done successfully. They have also been denied other benefits. My mother, who was not given a mobile SIM card because of her fading thumb impression, had to take a phone connection in another person’s name.
What was your complaint about telephone operating companies?
Those who got LPG connection under Ujjwala scheme, or even earlier, are not getting their subsidies in their account. It is going to the accounts of telecom companies. For example, subsidy money of around 31 lakh LPG connection holders — around Rs 190 crore — has gone to Bharti Airtel’s account. Now, petroleum companies have checked it and asked the company to return the money to consumers. The company has given consent…but it’s a fraud: how can my money be sent to someone else’s account?
Do you believe only extending time for linking Aadhaar number to different services is not enough?
There are some practical problems that need to be resolved. If you have decided to link government benefits to Aadhaar…issues need to be resolved.
You think more time is required?
It is a good move to link Aadhaar to benefits because it can stop leakage, but the practical problems need to be resoled.
BJD’s Tathagata Satpathy said these issues lead to many deserving people getting removed from list of beneficiaries but that has been projected as anti-corruption move by government. Do you agree?
There are errors — manual or deliberate — at some levels. There can be technical faults. But the government has to be alert and rectify such errors when they are identified.
From the Chair
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