The extension has been given as the government wanted to ensure that genuine beneficiaries who do not have an Aadhaar number are not denied benefits for the lack of the biometric identifier
The government on Wednesday extended by three months to June 30 the deadline for linking of Aadhaar with welfare schemes, where the benefits are funded from the Consolidated Fund of India.
The earlier deadline for the same was March 31, 2018.
The ministry of electronics and IT, in an office memorandum issued on Wednesday, informed about the extension of the stipulated date for the linkage to June 30.
The deadline for linking bank accounts and mobile phone numbers with Aadhaar has already been extended indefinitely, till the five-judge constitution bench delivers its judgement on petitions challenging the validity of the biometric scheme and its enabling law.
Sources familiar with the development said that while there is a three-month breather for linking of the 12-digit biometric identifier with welfare schemes (that include PDS, MGNREGA and pension schemes amongst others), availing of the benefits will require either the Aadhaar number, enrollment slip or request for Aadhaar enrolment after March 31.
The extension has been given as the government wanted to ensure that genuine beneficiaries who do not have an Aadhaar number are not denied benefits for the lack of the biometric identifier, they added.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court had refused to pass an interim order extending the deadline of March 31 for linking of Aadhaar with the welfare schemes.
The CBDT, however, extended the deadline for the PAN-Aadhaar linking to June 30.
The policy-making body of the tax department issued an order extending the deadline from the current last date of March 31, thus effecting the fourth extension given by the government for individuals to link their Permanent Account Number (PAN) with Aadhaar.
The move comes at a time when the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court is hearing a clutch of petitions challenging the Aadhaar Act and the use of biometric identifier in various government and non-government services.
UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey has given his presentation in the Supreme Court to defend the government's ambitious Aadhaar scheme.
The hearing on the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar and its enabling law is scheduled to resume on April 3.
Photograph: Ahmad Masood/Reuters