As per the National Food Security Act, the States have been given time till December to link Aadhaar with ration cards. However the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar for benefits of government schemes would be extended till March 31 next for those who do not have the biometric identification number. So far, 82% of the ration cards have been seeded with Aadhaar.
The instruction was issued this week to all the States, after an 11-year-old Jharkhand girl allegedly died of starvation recently after she was denied PDS rations.
Union Food Ministry clarified that deletion from the ration card database could happen only after a proper verification of the ration card holder establishes “beyond reasonable doubt” that an entry pertaining to the said ration card holder is not genuine. Until Aadhaar is assigned to the beneficiary, subsidised foodgrains will have to be given on production of ration card, enrolment slip and other stipulated documents.
Even in the case of failure of biometric authentication due to a glitch or poor biometric quality, the beneficiary will have to be given the benefits on production of Aadhaar card along with the ration card.
The States and the Union Territories will have to provide Aadhaar enrolment facilities to those without Aadhaar and link their Aadhaar numbers with ration cards.