Plan panel supports functional autonomy to UIDAI



New Delhi: The Plan panel has supported full functional autonomy for the Unique Identification Development Authority (UIDAI), mandated to issue the national identity cards, indicating end of tug-of-war between the two.

"I am in favour of delegating powers to UIDAI. We have to check with the Finance Ministry whether this is possible. I am hoping this is possible," Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia told reporters here.

"The logic of (creating) UIDAI was that it is an attached office (to the Plan panel), but we want to give it the full autonomy with responsibility," he said.

He further said, "We are trying to sort this out so that we can ensure, whatever task is assigned to them, they are able to perform with adequate due diligence within the organization."

"I am meeting Expenditure Secretary and I think we would work out an arrangement which is satisfactory," he added.

A controversy was triggered after Plan panel Member- Secretary Sudha Pillai had reportedly expressed reservations over the Nandan Nilekani- headed UIDAI's functioning. In a letter to the Finance Ministry, she had also reportedly suggested a relook into its structure.

Pillai had reportedly said that the Authority has not got any of its financial proposal examined by the Plan panel's Secretary or Financial Adviser.

The reports said the Commission suggested to the Finance Ministry to depute a full time financial advisor in the Authority.

In response to this, Nilekani had last month asserted that the Authority is working under set government framework and the powers delegated by the Prime Minister.

"We are working within the powers granted to us. If somebody feels that power should be different, then that is a different matter," Nilekani had said.

On transparency issue, Nilekani had said: "We follow every government process and procurement procedures to the key. We set the highest standards of transparency and integrity in our operations."

PTI