Giving indications that the new government is likely to continue Aadhaar enrolments, a sum of Rs. 2,039 crore has been provided in the budget for the Unique Identification Project in the current fiscal.
“A sum of Rs 2,039.64 crore has been provided for 2014-15 to execute the task of implementing Unique Identification as entrusted to Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI),” the budget document tabled in Parliament stated.
The amount provided for the project for this fiscal is higher than Rs 1,550 crore provided in the previous year.
The UIDAI was set up in 2009 under the chairmanship of Nandan Nilekani. It comes under the Planning Commission.
Media reports suggest that the government wants UIDAI to enroll 100 million more residents. UIDAI has already enrolled about 700 million people and issued Aadhaar cards having unique identification number to 650 million.
UIDAI was mandated to collect biometrics of 600 million residents in the country and rest of the population was to be covered under the National Population Register (NPR) project.
It was decided by the Cabinet Committee on UIDAI during UPA regime that all residents would be issue National Multi-purpose Identity Cards under NPR and 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 unique identification number.
The NPR is a comprehensive identity database maintained by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India under the Home Ministry. Government has initiated the creation of this database, by collecting specific information of all usual residents in the country during the house listing and housing census phase of Census 2011.
Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with Home Ministry and UIDAI officials to find a way forward.
As per media reports, Mr. Modi backed Aadhaar enrolments and wanted to restart the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme.
The UPA government had to suspend Aadhaar-based direct benefit transfers in view of reservations by it own ministers.
The new government has also provided Rs 369.57 crore for public finance management system for tracking and reporting expenditure along with generation of state-wise/district wise reports on the expenditure, outputs and the unutilized amount under each Plan scheme.
The UIDAI was to enroll residents in 18 states in the country. Later its mandate was expanded to enroll in four more states -- Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhatisgarh and Uttarakhand.