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No Aadhaar, No Freebies Says Tamil Nadu Govt

Freebies are the inventions of political parties to win elections. More often than not, the poll promises of political parties across the spectrum contain liberal freebies. Once in power, they are, however, faced with the reality of the financial situation: How do we fund the freebies? One is reminded of the proverb `robbing Peter to pay Paul’. This is not a sound strategy. Parties – especially the ruling ones – are discovering this. Well, the Tamil Nadu Government has now decided to mandate the use of Aadhaar identification service in Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation, which gives free power to hut-consumers and farmers. Select categories of power users are given free supply to a limited extent. These are funded by the government of Tamil Nadu, and involve expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of the State.  A government order issued by the Energy Department of Tamil Nadu Government on October 6 now makes it mandatory for all those using or desirous of using the freebies’ schemes to provide proof of the possession of Aadhaar numbers.  If they don’t, they have to undergo an Aadhaar identification process. Freebies are indeed a necessary tool to bring about social justice. But the state must know if they really reach the needy. Well, the Aadhaar linkage is inevitable to plug the holes in the power distribution system.