In December last year, the Rajasthan government brought The Jan-Aadhaar Authority Ordinance, 2019. The Jan-Aadhaar Yojana, which was first announced by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in his first budget speech after coming to power, has a large array of objectives including “creating a demographic and socio-economic database of the resident families of the state and providing them one number, one card and one identity” which can serve as a proof of identity and address for them.
The scheme also aims to transfer benefits of various state government-run schemes directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries, along with non-cash benefits with the help of Jan-Aadhaar or Aadhaar authentication.
The previous Bhamashah Yojana — launched during the tenure of Vasundhara Raje — too was used for direct benefit transfer to beneficiaries.
“This is only because of the ego of the government and the chief minister that several schemes of this government are similar to the one from the previous government, just their names have been changed. The features of the Jan-Aadhaar card are the same as the Bhamashah card and they changed the name of this scheme to satisfy their ego. They are unnecessarily spending money from the state exchequer on the Jan-Aadhaar scheme,” said Rajasthan BJP president Satish Poonia.
He also accused the Congress of removing the name of Bhamashah, a historical figure in the state, from the scheme.
The Congress has refuted the allegations, saying that the Bhamashah card “didn’t serve any purpose for the people.”
Rajasthan Health minister Raghu Sharma told The Indian Express, “The BJP spent Rs 400 crore over the Bhamashah card and it didn’t serve any purpose or benefit the public. It was they who had politicised the issue first by putting BJP’s election symbol on the card along with photo of the former chief minister. The Jan-Aadhar card is not costing the government any money and will serve the people.”
An official from the Department of Information Technology and Communication (DOITC) who did not wish to be named, told The Indian Express that so far, a budget of over Rs 35 crore has been allocated for the Jan-Aadhaar Yojana.
According to DOITC officials, the new scheme intends to bring a large array of facilities under its umbrella.
“There are major differences between the schemes. The Jan Aadhaar Act allows us to use the Aadhaar authentication engine for verification for funds which are being spent. Bhamashah did not allow that,” said a senior official from the Planning Department on condition of anonymity. Under the new scheme, each family is being assigned a unique number.
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