Aadhaar card
Aadhaar cardIANS

From getting your LPG subsidy to availing free mid-day meals in schools, the government is making the 12-digit Aadhaar card number mandatory for many things. If you are yet to get hold your Aadhaar, don't worry, you still have time. The government has extended the deadline for linking of 12-digit Aadhaar number to small savings schemes like post office deposits, PPF Kisan Vikas Patra by three months to March 31, 2018.

"It has now been decided to extend the last date for submission of 'Aadhaar' number from December 31, 2017 to March 31, 2018," PTI reports quoting a finance ministry notification. As many as 135 schemes (of 35 ministries) including the free cooking gas (LPG) to poor women, kerosene and fertiliser subsidy, targeted public distribution system (PDS) and MGNREGA will be covered by the new extension.

In October last year, the government made Aadhaar compulsory for all small savings schemes like post office deposits, Public Provident Fund, the National Savings Certificate scheme, Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, and Kisan Vikas Patra. Existing depositors were given time till December 31, 2017 to provide Aadhaar details.

By linking Aadhaar to saving schemes, the government hopes to clean up duplications and fakes, and get accurate data to enable implementation of direct benefit programmes. Use of Aadhaar reduces the cost of identifying persons and provides increased transparency to the government in implementation of its schemes, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), states under frequently asked questions on its website.