New Delhi: In order to curb expenditure and streamline delivery mechanism, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday asked states to use the Aadhaar platform for distributing subsidised ration and cooking gas cylinders, and implement other government schemes.
"...Given the huge potential of the Aadhaar initiative to streamline delivery and empowering the common citizen, while at the same time curbing expenditure, it is in our mutual interest to get these pilots going at the earliest," he said in his letter to chief ministers of 16 states.
In his letter, Mukherjee also underlined the need for expeditious rollout of Aadhaar-enabled payments for various central government schemes.
In the first stage, such payment mechanism would be rolled out for various central government schemes in 50 districts spread over 16 states.
Mukherjee said that pilots are proposed to be run for Public Distribution System, LPG distribution, kerosene disbursal.
Besides, government pension schemes, Janani Suraksha Yojana, government scholarships, financial inclusion, Kisan Credit Cards (KCCs) and MGNREGS wage disbursal would also come under the pilot project.
In his 2012-13 Budget Speech, Mukherjee had said that the Aadhaar platform was now ready to support payments under various schemes directly to the beneficiaries` accounts.
The letter was written to chief ministers of States and Union Territories -- Kerala, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Goa, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Delhi, Puducherry, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Mukherjee also asked them to further expand the list of districts already chosen in their respective States or Union Territories for running these pilots.
The Aadhaar scheme aims to provide each citizen with a 12-digit unique number to ensure, among other things, that the funds allocated by the Centre for various schemes directly reach the beneficiaries.
As on March 7, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has issued 13.80 crore Aadhaar cards till March 7.