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Updated: September 29, 2009 23:29 IST

Unique ID numbers will help target benefits better: Nilekani

Special Correspondent
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Nandan M. Nilekani, Chairperson, UID Authority of India. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
The Hindu
Nandan M. Nilekani, Chairperson, UID Authority of India. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chairperson Nandan M. Nilekani has said that the ambitious initiative of the Government of India to provide each citizen with a unique identification number would help target resources and benefits better and prove immensely beneficial particularly to the poor in the country.

Mr. Nilekani told a meeting of top State government officials here on Tuesday, according to official sources, that the benefits of the initiative would be many, particularly in the context of rampant duplication in various beneficiary lists across the country and the need to better target the benefits of various social sector programmes of the government. Once the unique identification numbers take effect, it would become impossible for the same individual to claim benefits under different schemes and the several loopholes that now permitted frauds of various kinds would get plugged. This would also help the government to ensure that the various benefits and assistance that it extends to the people reach the really needy and deserving persons, he said.

Mr. Nilekani, who was making a presentation for senior State government officials led by Chief Secretary Neela Gangadharan, also pointed out that it would help the people, particularly the poor who were dependent on the public distribution system and various social welfare schemes of the Central and State governments, to access the various benefits on offer to them without too much hassle. Once the initiative gets fully implemented, as many as 1.2 billion persons across the country would have unique identification numbers, which would give a big boost to the system of governance, help in targeted distribution of assistances and benefits and ensure greater security for all citizens, he said.

The sources in government said mechanisms for coordination of the UID programme at the regional and State levels would be created soon. There would be eight regional coordinators, each being designated deputy director generals. There would also be State level coordination mechanisms as the central UID database would be primarily a collation of State level UID databases, they said.

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