The Narendra Modi Government has extended the deadline for Aadhaar card-ration card linking. The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution has issued notification in this regard yesterday announcing extension of the Aadhaar Card Ration Cad linking deadline to 30th September 2020. Now, ration card holders who failed to link their Aadhaar card with ration card can continue availing public distribution system (PDS) benefits till the given deadline. However, it is important for them to link their Aadhaar card with their ration card as soon as possible.
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution issued a press statement in this regard and said, “The timeline given to all States/UTs, under the Aadhaar notification of the Department of Food and Public Distribution dated 07.02.2017 (as amended from time-to-time) to complete the seeding of Aadhaar numbers with all ration cards/beneficiaries, has been extended up to 30/09/2020 by the Department. Until then, Department has issued clear instructions to all States/UTs vide letters dated 24.10.2017 and 08.11.2018 that no genuine beneficiary/household shall be denied from entitled quota of food grains, or their names/ration cards shall not be deleted/cancelled only on the ground of not possessing an Aadhaar number.”
The statement went on to add that instructions are also issued that food grains under NFSA shall not be denied due to failure of biometric / Aadhaar authentication of beneficiary because of poor biometrics of the beneficiary, issues with network/connectivity/linking or any other technical reasons. During the current crisis situation, a pragmatic approach is needed so that no poor or deserving person or family is denied access to food grains. In due course linking of Aadhaar to the ration card and beneficiaries will ensure that no person entitled to such ration is denied such access.
Due to relentless efforts of the Central and State/UT Governments, at present nearly 90 per cent of all 23.5 Crore ration cards are already seeded with the Aadhaar numbers of ration card holders (i.e. at least one member of family); whereas, nearly 85 per cent of all 80 Crore beneficiaries have also seeded their Aadhaar number with their respective ration cards. Further, all concerned States/UTs are making continuous efforts to complete the Aadhaar seeding of remaining ration cards/beneficiaries under NFSA.
It is highlighted that the Department has started the implementation of National / Inter-State Portability of NFSA ration card holders under “One Nation One Ration Card” plan as part of a central sector scheme on ‘Integrated Management of Public Distribution System’ to protect the interest of poor and migratory beneficiaries.