Delhi government links 2.5 lakh pensioners to Aadhaar, to cover all by September

In a bid to plug leakages, Delhi government has linked the accounts of over 2.5 lakh pensioners to Aadhaar and has set a stiff target of September to cover all the beneficiaries, numbering around 6 lakh.

While the accounts of 1 lakh beneficiaries were seeded with their Aadhaar numbers last month, 1.5 lakh were brought aboard the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) platform in the first quarter of the year.

The government has now set a target of another 65,000 accounts to be linked by the end of next month, Ashwani Kumar, Secretary, Social Welfare Department, said.

“It is going to eliminate ghost beneficiaries from the system, end duplicacy and leakages through a host of other means. Benefits will be stopped to those yet to have an Aadhaar number of their own,” Kumar said,

However, Kumar added the threat of action was more of a warning to speed up the process. Any such suspension of benefits would happen after due consideration as many families depend on pensions for their sustenance, he said.

The process has also hit certain roadblocks, the official said. A large number of people are yet to join the Aadhaar platform, Kumar said, listing it as one of the “issues”.

“In a few cases, people have complained that they have suddenly stopped receiving benefits but later it turned out that some of the banks had linked another account of the person with Aadhaar instead of the regular one he has been using,” he said.

The government had scrapped the quarterly disbursement of pensions last month and payments are instead being made on a monthly basis, providing relief to the beneficiaries made up of widows, elderly and the disabled.

Over six lakh people currently receive such pensions from the Delhi government. These include 3.88 lakh old people, 1.6 lakh widows and 63,000 persons with physical disabilities.

The Delhi government disburses Rs 1500 to each beneficiary under all the three categories. However, it makes a distinction between old people with those between 60 and 70 years of age entitled to a monthly pension of Rs 1,000 and those above 70 getting Rs 1,500.