Budget 2016: Govt to give statutory status to Aadhaar

Government has decided to accord statutory status to Aadhaar to ensure that benefits of the government subsidies directly reach the needy.

PTI| Last Updated: Feb 29, 2016, 14:22 PM IST
Budget 2016: Govt to give statutory status to Aadhaar

New Delhi: Government has decided to accord statutory status to Aadhaar to ensure that benefits of the government subsidies directly reach the needy.

"Additionally, as I will elaborate later, we will undertake significant reform including enactment of a law to ensure all government benefits are conferred to people who deserve it by giving a statutory backing to the Aadhar platform," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while announcing Union Budget 2016-17.

Till date over 98 crore Aadhaar numbers have been generated. Per day average of 26 lakh biometric and over 1.5 lakh e-KYC transactions are made. Aadhaar numbers have been seeded in 11.19 crore DBTL accounts out of total 16.5 crore DBTL beneficiaries.

There is already a National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010, pending in the Rajya Sabha.

The statutory status will provide a legal foundation to Aadhaar for expanding its use for a range of developmental purposes.

It has been suggested that all benefits, subsidies or services funded from the consolidated fund of India should be through Aadhaar platform.

Jaitley said that a critical component of minimum government and maximum governance is to ensure targeted disbursement of government subsidies to actual beneficiaries.

"First, we will introduce the targeted delivery of financial and other subsidiary benefits services by using the Aadhaar framework. The bill will be introduced in the current budget session of Parliament.

"The Aadhaar number or authentication shall however not confirm any rights of citizenship or domicile," he said.

The finance minister said the public money should reach the poor and deserving without any leakage.

"Social security platform will be developed for using Aadhaar to accurately target beneficiaries. This will be a transformative piece of legislation which will benefit the poor and vulnerable," he said.

Government has already introduced direct benefit transfer (DBT) in LPG and the scheme is linked to Aadhaar, he added.

"Based on this successful experience, we propose to introduce a DBT on a pilot basis on fertiliser in few districts of the country," Jaitley said.

As part of modernisation in various schemes providing subsidies to people, he announced that automation facility will be provided to lakh fair price shop by March 2017.