Centre avoids Rajya Sabha on Aadhaar
New Delhi: A determined government on Friday got the Aadhaar Bill 2016 passed in the Lok Sabha, claiming it would facilitate saving thousands of crores of rupees by routing subsidy through unique identity numbers allotted to citizens.
The Aadhaar (Target Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill 2016 — an updated version of the UPA’s ambitious National Identification Authority of India Bill 2010, that was introduced in the RS in 2010 but lapsed as the 15th Lok Sabha’s term expired — was converted into a money bill by the government and introduced in the Lok Sabha on March 3. It was passed amid vociferous protests by the Opposition, which alleged the Rajya Sabha’s sanctity had been undermined. A money bill, once passed by the Lok Sabha, virtually becomes law and the Rajya Sabha can’t block it. Congress LS leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the government was bypassing the RS by passing the Aadhaar Bill as a money bill in the LS.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley, who introduced the bill last week, countered by saying since the bill involves spending from the Consolidated Fund of India, it had to be a money bill.
Earlier Bill failed to define purpose: FM
As the Centre on Friday got the Aadhaar Bill 2016 passed in the Lok Sabha, Mr Jaitley tried to allay members’ fears on privacy issues, saying the core biometric data could not be shared with anyone. Some data could, however, be shared with an individual’s consent, he added. He said 97 per cent of adults had Aadhaar cards while 67 per cent of minors had it too. Five to seven lakh people were being added every day, he said.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley said subsidy through Aadhaar cards of LPG consumers had resulted in savings of over Rs 15,000 crore at the Centre. Citing differences bet-ween the earlier bill tabled by the UPA and the new one, he said the earlier measure provided for establishment of an authority and gave idea of unique identity but failed to define its purpose.