New Delhi: The Aadhar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill 2016 was passed in the Lok Sabha on Friday after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley moved the key bill for consideration.
The bill is aimed at giving statutory backing for transferring government subsidies and benefits to targeted people.
It also lays down a regulatory framework to protect core biometric information of Aadhaar cardholders from any unauthorised disclosure or sharing.
The bill is the key to the government’s plan to plug leakages in disbursal of subsidies and other services and in ensuring that these reach intended beneficiaries.
Speaking on the Bill, Jaitley said the primary focus of the bill is to make presentation of Aadhar card mandatory for entitlement of government subsidies.
He said that by linking of Aadhaar number with various schemes which comes under subsidy, the government has so far saved Rs. 15,000 crore.
Allaying apprehension of the Opposition members regarding disclosure of privacy by making Aadhaar mandatory, the Finance Minister said the government has taken care of these issues and data of the concerned persons will not be shared and any unauthorized disclosure of the Aadhaar data will be liable of punishment.
Earlier, Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, objected to the bill being introduced as a money bill, saying the Congress is ready to cooperate on the bill, but it should not come as a money bill. In response, Jaitley said the bill is substantially different from what the opposition are talking about.
He said the substance of the bill is that whoever gets subsidies, will have to produce Aadhaar.
The bill seeks to provide for good governance, efficient, transparent, and targeted delivery of subsidies, benefits and services, the expenditure for which is incurred from the Consolidated Fund of India to individuals residing in India through assigning of unique identity numbers.