Jaitley to introduce new Aadhaar Bill today

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley set to introduce a new Aadhaar Bill – the Aadhaar Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services Bill 2016 – in the Lok Sabha on Thursday after the Union Cabinet accorded its approval on Wednesday.

The Bill is likely to provide a legal basis to the unique identification number. Jaitley on Wednesday expressed hope that the Aadhaar Bill, which is an important law that can rationalise subsidies, would be passed in the ongoing Budget Session.

In his budget speech, the Finance Minister had announced that the Bill would be introduced in the ongoing session itself.

The minister said the public money should reach the poor and deserving without any leakage, while clarifying that the Aadhar number or authentication would not confirm any rights of citizenship or domicile. There is already a National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010, pending in the Rajya Sabha.

In its report submitted in 2011, a Standing Committee on Finance chaired by Yashwant Sinha had found some deficiencies in the 2010 Bill.

The Committee had recommended the government to reconsider the Unique Identification (UID) scheme and introduce a new Bill in Parliament.

Thus far, more than 98 crore Aadhaar numbers have been generated, of which 16.5 crore are PAHAL beneficiaries, while Aadhaar numbers have been seeded in 11.19 crore accounts. The PAHAL scheme provides for Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG (DBTL) to the consumer. (