The Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution clarified on Monday that no ration card of the beneficiaries under PDS will be cancelled or name of the beneficiaries be deleted on the ground of not possessing an Aadhaar number till September 30, 2020.
The ministry said, "It has been reported in a section of newspapers today that ration cards of those who do not provide Aadhaar number will be cancelled.''
The Department of Food and Public Distribution (PDS) said that 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, news agency PTI reported.
Until then, the 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.
Further, instructions have also been issued that food grains under NFSA shall not be denied due to failure of biometric/Aadhaar authentication of the beneficiary because of poor biometrics of the beneficiary, issues with network/connectivity/linking or any other technical reasons, the ministry in a statement.
According to the central government, 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 with ration card will ensure that no person entitled to such ration is denied such access.
At present, nearly 90 per cent of 23.5 crore ration cards are seeded with Aadhaar numbers of ration card holders (i.e. at least one member of family); nearly 85 per cent of all 80 crore beneficiaries have also seeded their Aadhaar numbers with their respective ration cards.