Sonia, PM launch Aadhaar-linked service system, UID reaches 21 cr
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Promising easy cash transfers and a single card that will serve as identity proof for opening bank accounts, gas and mobile connections, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi along with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh launched the payment mechanism on Saturday morning in Dudu, 60 km from Jaipur.
Over the last two years, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has generated over 20 crore Aadhaar numbers and number 21 crore was handed over to one Bali Devi of Udaipur on Saturday by Sonia at a function here which was also attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot among others.
The government is rolling out the Aadhaar-enabled service delivery initiative in 51 districts across the country. It will be used for making pension payments, MNREGA payments, PDS distribution, scholarship payments and other social welfare schemes. Rajasthan alone plans to link 10 of its schemes to the card such as Mukhyamantri BPL Gramin Awas Yojna, pension scheme, Asha Sehyogini payment and Chief Minister's Scholarship scheme.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, addressing the gathering in Dudu, underlined the benefits of the initiative. "The UPA government has always thought about the welfare of the common man. The Aadhaar project was started with the aim to reach the common man his due. So far there was no way to identify the authentic beneficiaries of our social welfare schemes. However, with this card, students, who need identification proof most often can show this to avail of all our schemes," he said. "Cash transfers will become much easier for us and we can ensure that money reaches the right beneficiaries."
So far 1.5 crore students avail of scholarships, 2 crore avail of old age pension, 3 crore families get medical facilities and another 5 crore avail of the MNREGA scheme, Singh said. "We want to ensure that all these beneficiaries get an Aadhaar card and make the most of these schemes."
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