Govt likely to make a bill to mandate Aadhaar for securing benefits

Government is considering a bill to make Aadhaar mandatory for securing benefits or subsidies funded from the consolidated fund of India.

The new legislation to grant statutory footing to Aadhaar is proposed to be introduced as Aadhaar (Delivery of benefits, Subsidies and Services) Bill 2016 as Money Bill under Articles 109,110 of the Constitution of India, an official source told PTI.

“The proposed Bill was seen by the Attorney General who has opined that the same can be introduced as a Money Bill as per Articles 109 and 110 of the Constitution of India,” the source said.

Government has plans to withdraw National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010, from Rajya Sabha and replace it with the Aadhaar Bill on approval of the Cabinet. At present Unique Identification Authority of India, issuer of Aadhaar numbers, is functioning under an executive notification of the Planning Commission.

In October 2015, Supreme Court has issued an interim order rejecting mandatory requirement of Aadhaar for availing benefits or subsidies or services of government and said that that the Aadhaar card scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by it.

“To rule out an adverse order as well as provide a legal foundation for expanding the use of Aadhaar for a range of developmental purposes, it is necessary that the Aadhaar scheme be given a firm statutory footing,” the source said.

The official added that there is requirement of a framework which is essentially service delivery centric for effective implementation of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) schemes. It is proposes that all benefits, subsidies or services funded from the consolidated fund of India should be through Aadhaar platform.

The source said that the Bill will address issues of legislation, privacy, data security raised before the apex court. Till date over 98 crore Aadhaars have been generated. Per day average of 26 lakh biometric and over 1.5 lakh e-KYC transactions are made. Aadhaar numbers have been seeded in 11.19 crore DBTL accounts out of total 16.5 crore DBTL beneficiaries.