The Government is not considering any proposal to discontinue the Aadhaar project under which biometrics details of residents are collected to generate unique identification numbers, Parliament was informed on Friday.
“There is no such proposal under consideration of the government at this stage”, Planning Minister Rao Inderjit Singh said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on whether the government proposes to discontinue the Aadhaar project.
The new government has provided a sum of Rs 2,039 crore for Aadhaar project in 2014—15 in budget presented in Parliament on Thursday. The amount provided for the project for this fiscal is higher than Rs 1,550 crore provided in 2013—14.
Meanwhile in another written reply in the Lok Sabha, Singh informed the House that the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) completed its initial mandate to enrol 60 crore residents on March 9, 2014.
The UIDAI was set up in 2009 under the chairmanship of Nandan Nilekani to enrol residents in 18 states.
Singh said: “In February 2014, UIDAI was mandated to enrol four additional states——Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhatisgarh and Uttarakhand having a total population of 33.9 crore.”
The enrollment in these (four) states is in progress. As on date, about 64.23 crore Aadhaar numbers have been generated all over the country, Singh said in the reply.
A total outlay of Rs 12,398.22 crore was sanctioned by successive expenditure finance committees’ for the Aadhaar project.
Of this, a total expenditure of Rs 4,518.51 crore was incurred on various components of the project up to May 31, 2014, as per the written reply.
Recent media reports suggest that the government wants UIDAI to enrol 10 crore more residents.
UIDAI was mandated to collect biometrics of 60 crore residents in the country and rest of the population was to be covered under the National Population Register (NPR) project.
All residents would be issued National Multi—purpose Identity Cards under NPR while UIDAI would generate Unique identification number for the entire population.
Both UIDAI and NPR were to share the biometric data collected by them for issuing NMIC and generating UID.
Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with Home Ministry and UIDAI officials to find a way forward in this regard.
As per media reports, Modi backed Aadhaar enrollments and wanted to restart the direct benefit transfers (DBTs) scheme based on Aadhaar.
The UPA government had to suspend Aadhaar—based DBTs in view of reservations by it own Ministers.