UPA's pet UIDAI set to get Rs 2,000 cr in Modi budget

National identification authority of India bill being resent for inter-ministerial consultations

pratap

Pratap Vikram Singh | July 3, 2014 | New Delhi




Amid reports that the unique identification authority of India (UIDAI) might be shut and merged with the home ministry’s national population register (NPR), senior officials working with the authority have indicated that UIDAI might continue to enrol people and offer authentication services. 

“The government has approved a Rs 2,000-crore budget (for UIDAI) for this financial year,” a senior official said. 

The fund, the official said, will be largely spent on infrastructure: the authority is constructing its own building to host the central identities data repository in Bangalore (CIDR at present operates out of rented premises) and a disaster recovery site in Manesar, Haryana. The fund will also be used to carry out enrolments in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand, it was informed. 

These four states, which were initially covered by the NPR, were handed to the authority for faster DBT-L (direct benefit transfer for subsidised LPG cylinders) rollout by the UPA government.

According to the official, the authority has as of now already enrolled 70 crore people and enrolment is still on, with 3 lakh people getting covered in a month. 

There have been a series of speculation about the future of Aadhaar ever since the NDA government came to power. UIDAI was one of the Congress-led UPA’s most ambitious projects. 

According to sources, minister for planning, statistics and programme implementation Rao Inderjit Singh has asked UIDAI officials to “keep the (national identification authority of India) bill ready”. The bill is being resent to other ministries for consultations. The bill, initially introduced in 2010 and rejected by the parliamentary standing committee on finance, was revised and approved by the Manmohan Singh cabinet in October 2013. 

The official said that preamble of the revised version explicitly states that Aadhaar will be used for service delivery – a fact not mentioned in the initial version of the bill. The rest of the bill has not been changed, the official said, adding that the parliamentary panel did not object to any provision of the bill. The observations were generic in nature, the official said.      

Given the long process of approvals, it is going to be difficult for the government to introduce the bill in the current session of parliament. For the bill to be ready, it has to be first sent to the law ministry. The vetted copy will subsequently be sent for inter-ministerial consultations. The reworked bill, after incorporating feedback from other ministries, has to be then sent to the cabinet for approval. If the cabinet approves, it is then sent once again to the law ministry for final vetting. 

Rao Inderjit Singh refused to comment on the matter when Governance Now approached him.

Meanwhile, to resolve differences and conflicts between UIDAI and NPR, home minister Rajnath Singh took up the issue with Rao Inderjit Singh and Ravi Shankar Prasad, minister of communications and IT, as also law and justice.  According to a PTI report, ministers took stock of the various aspects of NPR and Aadhaar, how to avoid duplication between the two, and also discussed suggestion of marrying the two schemes. 

 

Comments

 

Other News

PSUs under steel ministry must share resources: Minister

Steel minister Chaudhary Birender Singh has directed a high-level coordination committee comprising CMDs and top ministry officials to be constituted for pooling and sharing of resources among PSUs.   He said, “This will lead to aggregation of demand and economies of sc

India seeks dispute panel against US at WTO

India has submitted its first request for establishment of a dispute panel against the US at the World Trade Organisation (WTO)—a request that was blocked by Washington on February 20 stating that this dispute was launched for purely political reasons. According to India, eleven measures ad

So what Pahlaj Nihalani, if there`s lipstick under the burkha

The Central Board of Film Certification seems to be fast turning into 16th century Italian theatre Commedia dell`arte, whose special characteristic is the lazzo - a joke. And Pahlaj Nihalani is the prima donna of all that is not right with the censor board. Nihalani, who is frequently quite

India needs policy measures to conform to global standards: Carnegie

India faces significant challenges in the area of trade policy— the global economic slowdown, increasing protectionism, the stalled mega-trade deals that could in time be revived, and perhaps more important, its own domestic preoccupations. For India to achieve its policy objectives, the government a

The power of a meal

In 2000, we set out on an uncharted journey. Neither did we have any strategy nor any idea about how far we could go. I still remember the day when we took the first meal to a government school. The children loved it. I did not believe that we would go with food the next day as well, but we did, and now we

Should Pahlaj Nihalani be axed as the chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification?

Should Pahlaj Nihalani be axed as the chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification?

Video

अखिलेश डूबते जहाज में जा बैठे - मोदी
Digital Transformation Summit

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter