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PM meets senior ministers to sort out UID project

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday held discussions with senior Cabinet colleagues to resolve the UID issues.

New Delhi: Amid differences between the Home
Ministry and the Planning Commission over continuation of UID
project, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday held discussions
with senior Cabinet colleagues to resolve the issues.

Singh will call a Cabinet meeting on Friday to take final
call on extension of the UIDAI project, under which national
identity cards are issued to entire population.

"I think we have come to an agreement on how both the
projects can proceed together without any difficulty ... the
Cabinet Committee (on UIDAI) was rescheduled and will happen
on Friday. We are quite hopeful that we will have a resolution
of these issues in that meeting," Planning Commission Deputy
Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said here after the meeting.

Besides Ahluwalia, today`s meeting was attended by
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P
Chidambaram, UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani and National
Security Advisor (NSA) Shivshankar Menon.

"We are moving towards very satisfactory conclusion.
There were different views ... We reviewed different issues",
Ahluwalia said, adding the Home Ministry`s National Population
Register (NPR) project for constructing digital database of
residents could continue along with UIDAI.

"I think that there is agreement that both the projects
can move ahead and ways can be found that will avoid avoidable
duplication. That was the key issue. I will send the
supplementary note (to Cabinet)", he added.

At the centre of the controversy is the collection of
bio-metric data of all residents.

While the Home Ministry has maintained that the Registrar
General of India (RGI) under it has been mandated to collect
the data through the NPR, the Nandan Nilekani-led UIDAI has
also been authorised to gather the information.


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