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Govt makes Aadhaar mandatory for TB patients to access cash assistance

Tuberculosis patients who avail cash assistance from the government will be required to provide their Aadhaar number or undergo Aadhaar authentication mandatorily. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that since the cash assistance provided under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) comes from the centrally controlled Consolidated Fund of India and hence have to provide an Aadhaar number.

They have to apply by August 31, 2017, to continue receiving the aforementioned cash assistance. RNTCP is administered through a web-based solution called Nikshay.

In the meantime, they can furnish either the enrollment ID slip or copy of request made for Aadhaar enrollment, plus one of the regular identity cards such as voter card, PAN card, driving license, bank photo passbook, and MGNREGA card among others.

This development comes at a time when the Government is looking to connect most social benefit schemes and subsidy programmes to Aadhaar, besides services such as telecom. Earlier this month, the Ministry of Civil Aviation announced that it was considering making it mandatory to share a digital unique ID such as Aadhaar, PAN, and passport number among others, at the time of booking tickets. Plus the Ministry has contracted Wipro Technologies to, among other things, evaluate the prospect of developing a platform that will utilize passenger’s Aadhaar-based biometric information during check-in processes across all airports in the country.

Partial stay on Aadhaar-PAN linkage

This month, the Supreme Court of India ruled that the Government of India cannot cancel PAN cards if citizens don’t link an Aadhaar number to their PAN card, because the PAN card is a necessary document for filing taxes. The Court added that those who do not have an Aadhaar card should not be forced to get one. However, those who have a PAN card, will need to connect it to Aadhaar. What is unclear is what the Government of India will do if you have an Aadhaar number, but choose not to link it to the PAN card.

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