The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Thomas John, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
A new and revised Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016 was passed in Lok Sabha on 11th March 2016. This takes the massive scheme beyond merely assigning a unique identity to residents to empowering the government to ensure that its subsidies and services reach the right people and directly.
What’s New in this Bill?
Supreme Court had earlier passed a ruling stating that Aadhaar should not be compulsory and restricted its use to deliver benefits and subsidies only under 5 government schemes, including LPG and PDS. The new Bill addresses major issues relating to security of information and also calls for imprisonment of up to one year and a minimum fine of Rs.10 lakhs for any person extending unauthorised access to the centralised data-base, or for revealing any information stored in it.
The new Bill makes Aadhaar necessary for availing of state subsidies and benefits received from the Consolidated Fund of India. Through Aadhaar, the govt. can make sure that solely targeted people directly receive funds or services, thereby plugging leaks within the system.The government has, however, confirmed that the Aadhaar card cannot be used as a proof of citizenship or domicile status.
Aadhaar is essential to ensure that all social sector schemes of the government is launched and implemented as per time and guidelines laid down therefore the NDA government has made the correct move towards making certain that it receives the required statutory backing. Rs.13663 crore has already been allotted for FY’16-17, of that Rs 6844 crore has already been spent on establishing Aadhaar Sampark Kendras, technology-related infrastructure and enrollment, and all associated logistics. According to Mr Jaitley 97% adult Indians and 67% children now have an Aadhaar card and five to seven lakh people are being added to the system each day.