Aadhaar Incentivised

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The centre and the states have loosened their purse strings for Aadhaar enrolments distributing cash incentives to their residents as well as employees, who are authorised to enroll, to ensure that the largest identity scheme does not meet the fate of the other not-for-profit inclusion plans in the country

Having realised that not-for-profit nature of financial inclusion schemes was what did not let it take off, the governments have finally decided to incentivize Aadhaar enrolment, the largest identity scheme, they are banking on to tag host of social sector plans with. 

This is what is being done in Maharashtra, which has taken lead in issuing Aadhaar cards and has the target of enrolling all its citizens by 31st March 2012. The State has embarked on an innovative schemes to speed up the enrolments. 

The state government pays 25 paisa per enrolment to its employees working in the taluka and municipal zones. The incentive would be derived from the http://www.inclusion.in/old/images/a-j11/r.jpg 5 per UID number paid to the District Collectors and Municipal Commissioners in the state.  The central government has sanctioned http://www.inclusion.in/old/images/a-j11/r.jpg 50 per UID number for enrolling the first 200 million residents for the project by March 2012. The incentive of 25 paisa per UID number would effectively be paid out of this amount. 
The State passed a Government Resolution (GR) on 11th April 2011 to facilitate the payment. It has also made UID card mandatory for all government employees through another government resolution and is threatening to hold back salaries of employees who do not enroll.  

No wonder, Maharashtra figures among the top three when it comes to number of enrolments done since September last year when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi kickstarted the scheme in Tembhli, a tribal hamlet in Sahada tehsil of Nandurbar district. The state which has the distinction of carrying out the exercise simultaneously in all its districts (4,000 centres at 1,100 places) had registered 10 million people till 25th June. 
 
Flip side of the story is that people at several locations in the state have accused government employees of making false promises to boost enrolments. Many people in Tembhli told Inclusion that the state administration promised pucca houses, self-employment, health cover and even free travel in state roadways’ buses to the villagers before the PM air dashed to the place to distribute the Aadhaar cards. Obviously, the poor villagers are feeling short changed.  “Unhone bola ghar bandhi deva, paani bhi deva. Par kuchh nahin mila (They promised pucca houses and water). But we’ve not got anything)”, says Jasoda Bansi, a housewife in Tembhli.

Maharashtra, however, is not the only state in the country that has incentivized the Aadhaar enrolments. 

Jharkhand and Karnataka governments have also introduced incentives for the scheme albeit with a difference. In their case, the cash incentive is being paid to each member of BPL (Below Poverty Line) households. The idea is to compensate the loss of daily wage the enrollers will suffer due to their visit to the enrolment centre.

Karnataka government will directly transfer http://www.inclusion.in/old/images/a-j11/r.jpg 100 into the bank accounts of beneficiaries of social security schemes – pensioners, widows, physically disabled – and those of MGNREGS after they produce relevant documents as proof at the time of enrolment.

“The process of registering BPL residents involves cost for both the beneficiaries and the state government. Since the beneficiaries will be forgoing a part of their daily wage by taking time off work to enroll for Aadhaar we want to incentivise them. Social security pension and job guarantee schemes are among the six services we have shortlisted to be Aadhaar-enabled,” M N Vidyashankar, Principal Secretary (e-governance), Karnataka Government, was quoted saying in The Economic Times recently.

In the case of Jharkhand, the assurance came from none other than Ram Sewak Sharma, Director General of the Unique Identification Development Authority of India (UIDAI). Sharma said recently that the token amount would be paid to encourage enrolment of BPL families.

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