Policy

Aadhaar Bill to be delayed further

A. M. Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on August 14, 2012

Nandan Nilekani

The Nandan Nilekani-led Unique Identity Number (UID) initiative has run up against a political wall.

In the face of near unanimous opposition from political parties, the National Identification Authority Bill, the legislation for establishing the National Identification Authority of India for issuing unique identification (Aadhaar) numbers, will be delayed further in Parliament.

The Government has decided not to bring the Bill in the Monsoon session of Parliament as the Cabinet Committee on “Unique Identification Authority of India related issues” is yet to take a final view on the Bill.

Playing down the reported reservations earlier raised by the Finance Ministry, the Home Ministry and the Planning Commission on Aadhaar, Government sources claimed the Bill is stuck due to “technical” reasons. The Cabinet Committee was recently reconstituted with Sushilkumar Shinde taking over the Home portfolio.

Sources added that the committee, chaired by the Prime Minister, is yet to take a view on the Finance standing committee report on the Bill.

“The Bill will not be tabled in the Monsoon session of Parliament,” a senior Government functionary told Business Line. He said the Government will try to evolve a consensus on the Bill before tabling it again in Parliament. “We will carefully study the report of the standing committee. The UPA is committed to implement the Aadhaar scheme,” he added.

He also indicated that the Government is “not sure” of getting the Bill passed in Rajya Sabha.

The Opposition has slammed the “delay” in tabling the Bill in parliament. “We don’t understand why the Government is delaying the tabling of the Bill. The Standing Committee has rejected the Bill. The Government, rather than bringing an amended version of the Bill to Parliament, is circumventing the House and implementing the scheme merrily without the approval of Parliament,” senior BJP MP Justice M Rama Jois said.

The Finance Standing Committee, headed by senior BJP MP Yashwant Sinha, had recommended that the Government should reconsider the Aadhaar scheme and introduce a new Bill.

The report had said that the Government did not conduct any feasibility study evaluating financial implications and prevention of identity theft before approving of the scheme.

The report had also pointed out that there are differences among various departments on implementing the scheme.

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Published on August 14, 2012
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