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Odisha Govt To Link Aadhaar In All Welfare Schemes

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government is planning to link Aadhaar cards in order to ensure transparency, weed out bogus beneficiaries and also streamline the delivery mechanism of all its welfare schemes.

The State finance department has written to Additional Chief Secretary and secretaries of all departments to follow the guidelines prepared by the Centre on the basis of Section 7 of Aadhaar Act 2016.

The departments have been asked to prepare detailed report of various welfare schemes being implemented and identify the schemes in which money is directly transferred to the account of beneficiaries. Accordingly, notification will be issued to link the Aadhaar of beneficiaries.

At present Odisha government is implementing its 44 schemes of which money is directly transferred to the accounts of beneficiaries in only 10 schemes.

However, the Odisha government is lagging behind in linking Aadhaar in many other schemes though the Centre had earlier written to the State for linking Aadhaar in social security schemes.

It may be noted that soon after Aadhaar linking in food security scheme, around 19 lakh fake beneficiaries were detected in the State.

On the backdrop of the development, the Opposition has alleged that the State government was not deliberately linking Aadhaar in all its schemes apprehending that it would expose the irregularities.

“Massive irregularities were found in the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) and State government is hijacking central schemes. The government is not linking Aadhaar as it will not be able to include the ruling party workers who are unethically availing the benefits of the schemes,” alleged BJP MLA Mukesh Mahaling.

Similarly, former PCC president Jaydev Jena alleged, “If Aadhaar cards will be linked, the BJD government will be exposed on how many ineligible persons they have included in the welfare schemes.”

Responding to the allegations of the Opposition, BJD has said there will not be any problem in linking Aadhaar cards in welfare schemes.

“The directive to link Aadhaar came at the end of 2018. As there were general elections, the government could not implement the order,” BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said.

Deb further questioned that before pointing towards the State government, Opposition should also realise that even the Centre has not linked all its schemes with Aadhaar.

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