No one will be deprived of benefits for lack of Aadhaar: Govt

NEW DELHI: The government issued a clarification on Thursday regarding ongoing media reports on cash transfers under the ICDS (Integrated Child Development Services) Scheme and making Aadhaar mandatory for benefits under the programme of the Ministry of Women & Child Development (MWCD).

Calling the media reports ‘factually incorrect’, the government stated that nobody to be deprived of benefits under ICDs for lack of Aadhaar.

“In case of Mid-Day Meal scheme and under the Integrated Child Development Scheme, the schools and Anganwadis have been asked to collect the Aadhaar number of the children beneficiaries and in case a child does not have Aadhaar, the school or ICDS functionary will be required to provide enrolment facilities to a child and till Aadhaar number is assigned, the benefits will continue,” the statement said.

Total savings by plugging leakages on account of Aadhaar introduction during the last two-and-a-half years in just a few schemes amount to over Rs 49,000 crore.

On reports about cash transfers under the ICDS, the Centre clarified that there is no plan at present to substitute the existing scheme with cash transfers. “Under ICDS, Supplementary Nutrition is provided in the form of Take Home Ration (THR) to children 6-36 months’ age group (including malnourished children) and Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers. But for children between 3-6 years age group, Hot Cooked Meal is provided at the Anganwadi Centres. The Hot Cooked Meals will continue for the age group of 3 to 6 years,” govt’s statement read.