K’taka faces slowdown in Aadhaar-based payments

The state has 61.70 lakh workers under the flagship Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), of which 33.74 lakh workers have been brought under Aadhaar-enabled payment system and the remaining 27.96 lakh have not.

Karnataka appears to be struggling with its plan to use Aadhaar for beneficiary payments, with over 27 lakh rural employment scheme accounts and seven lakh pension accounts pending to be seeded with the unique identity numbers.

It is critical for the government to seed Aadhaar numbers of beneficiaries with schemes to be able to push money directly to their bank accounts through an Aadhaar-enabled payment system under the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system. Since August, the government has made Aadhaar the basis for all beneficiary payments.

The state has 61.70 lakh workers under the flagship Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), of which 33.74 lakh workers have been brought under Aadhaar-enabled payment system and the remaining 27.96 lakh have not.

Read Also: UIDAI asks banks to use Aadhaar eKYC for DBT users

Similarly, the state has 13.11 lakh pensioners who are covered under various social security schemes. Of them, as many as 7.44 lakh pension accounts are pending for mapping with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar admitted to the lag. “We’ve been reviewing this regularly. There was a slowdown because of the court case (on Aadhaar). Even now, it’s slow,” he said.

Thanks to the Supreme Court’s recent judgement validating the use of Aadhaar for DBT schemes, the state government will go ahead with linking Aadhaar with beneficiary bank accounts.

“The effort is on. We will continue to work with banks on linking the accounts,” Bhaskar said.

Furthermore, out of 7.35 crore operative bank accounts (current and savings) in the state, only about 52% are Aadhaar-authenticated.

No money orders

The Revenue department has decided to adopt DBT for social security pension payments, shunning the existing method of sending money orders through post offices.

“The Revenue Department had some problems with the post office(s). So they have decided to switch to Aadhaar-enabled payment system,” Additional Chief Secretary (e-Governance) Rajeev Chawla said.

Belagavi has the highest number of pension accounts at 1.99 lakh, followed by Mandya (1.41 lakh) and Mysuru (1.28 lakh).

The government is doubling down on Aadhaar-enabled payment system because it will ensure money reaches the right bank account, Chawla asserted.

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K’taka faces slowdown in Aadhaar-based payments

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