'Process for handling of Aadhar files streamlined'



New Delhi: The process for handling of files related to the 'Aadhar' unique identification project by the Planning Commission has been streamlined in consultation with the Finance Ministry, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.

In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Planning Ashwani Kumar said the plan panel had taken up the issue of streamlining of processes for handling of files from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) -- which oversees the smart ID card project -- in the Planning Commission with the Department of Expenditure.

The UIDAI is an attached office of the Planning Commission.

"The Planning Commission had also pointed out that the financial adviser in the UIDAI has been assigned several administrative responsibilities along with her function as financial adviser," Kumar said.

He added that the Plan panel had indicated that such an arrangement would take away the benefit of an independent scrutiny of proposals involving the use of public funds by an "arm's length" financial adviser.

"These matters have been resolved and processes have been streamlined as per the existing government procedures," Kumar said.

The minister said that an expenditure of Rs 3,170.32 crore has been approved under the first two phases of the UIDAI's 'Aadhaar' unique identification card scheme by the Expenditure Finance Committee.

The second phase of the project is slated to conclude this fiscal and the third phase will start from 2012-13.

"The Expenditure Finance Committee has recommended Rs 8,814.75 crore for Phase-III... The proposal would be brought before the Cabinet Committee on UIDAI in due course," Kumar said.

In reply to another question in the Lok Sabha, the minister said enrollment under the UIDAI is on track as per targets and 6.73 crore Aadhaar numbers were generated till November 15.

"At present, the UIDAI has set the target of 60 crore enrollments by 2014, out of which 20 crore enrollments are expected to be completed by March, 2012," Kumar said.

PTI