Aadhar Bill passed in Lok Sabha, Opposition fears ‘surveillance’

Arun Jaitley rejects demand to refer Bill to Standing Committee; says legislation for targeted subsidy, details of citizens will not be misused.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: March 12, 2016 4:34 am
aadhar, aadhar bill, aadhar bill passed, arun jaitley, arun jaitley aadhar bill, aadhar card, aadhar news, aadhar bill lok sabha, india news Union Minister Arun Jaitley. (Express Photo)

The Lok Sabha on Friday passed the Aadhaar Bill that aims to ensure targeted services to intended beneficiaries by assigning them unique identity numbers. These numbers will be given to each person who has stayed in India for 182 days in the year preceding the date of application.

The Lower House passed The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016, with a voice vote after a brief debate. While responding to concerns expressed by Rajiv Satav of the Congress, Tathagat Satpathy of the BJD, Asaduddin Owaisi of the AIMIM, Kaushalendra Kumar of the JD(U) and others, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley assured the House that details provided for the card would not be allowed to be misused in any manner.

The government, having seen the fate of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, chose to package the legislation as a money bill to ensure that it was not blocked by the Rajya Sabha, where the ruling NDA is short of a majority. In his reply to the debate, Jaitley left it to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to take the final call on whether or not it could be classified as a money bill. Jaitley, citing Section 110 of the Constitution, said any bill which facilitated the payment of moneys into or withdrawals of money from the Contingency Fund of India was a money bill. The bill will now go to the Rajya Sabha, which can deliberate on it and suggest amendments.

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While wrapping up the debate, Jaitley said that “except for some questions with regard to privacy and disclosure of information which have been raised, most speakers have actually supported” the bill. “The effect (of the bill) is going to be that both the central and state governments are going to save thousands of crores of rupees after having serviced and served the poor people and these thousands of crores of rupees that they will save from undeserving people are further resources which can go to the advantage of serving those people”.

Earlier in the day, Jaitley refused to accept the Opposition demand that the bill be referred to the Standing Committee. As Jaitley proposed that the House take up the bill for consideration, Bhartruhari Mahtab of the BJD expressed the fear that it could lead to invasion of privacy. Mahtab received support from Congress floor leader Mallikarjun Kharge and AIADMK leader P Venugopal. Kharge said they were not against the bill as such, but they felt that it was flawed.

Jaitley pointed out that the bill had been going through some consideration or the other for seven years. “Enough is enough,” he said, adding that the Congress opposition to the bill was “not principled”. He reminded the Congress that the UPA government had approved a bill in September 2010 and introduced it in Parliament in December. Regarding Kharge’s criticism over the money-bill issue, he said the bill was “distinctly different” from the one brought by the UPA. “The earlier we implement it, the better.”

BJD chief whip Tathagat Satpathy said there was apprehension that the bill could be used for “mass surveillance” and “ethnic cleansing”. When a BJP member countered him, saying there are no different races in the country, Satpathy said there are at least four groups in the country and Indians can be divided on these lines.

On the privacy issue, Jaitley said the bill had provisions for taking care of it. He said there would be no sharing of Aadhaar data without the consent of residents and no biometric data would be shared even with their consent. “The purpose of the bill is not for collateral purpose but to ensure that benefit of public revenue reaches the targeted beneficiary,” he added.

The minister said that 97 per cent adults had Aadhaar cards while 67 per cent minors had it. Five to 7 lakh people were being added every day.

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  1. J
    Jagdish
    Mar 11, 2016 at 1:33 pm
    Rich people do not want govt. subsidy going to poor people. What is wrong Aadhar card being links to payments and direct transfer for subsidy?
    Reply
    1. S
      seshan
      Mar 11, 2016 at 1:51 pm
      it is not only rich people but also the useless opposition parties like congress can not make money and loot the country if the benifits reaches the right person with out middle man.kep it up.
      Reply
      1. A
        Abhinav
        Mar 12, 2016 at 9:54 pm
        W UPA 2 these jokers and goondas complained. Now, U turn!
        Reply
        1. A
          Anil Semwal
          Mar 12, 2016 at 7:15 am
          There is a need to integrate various services using some common number or code. Aadhaar is the best tool for such integration. It will eliminate corruption and make service delivery more efficient and transparent. Data is also safe as it is not shared with any agancy without users' consent.
          Reply
          1. A
            akr
            Mar 11, 2016 at 11:13 am
            govt should propose comprehensive bill which promotes targetted subside via JAM (jandhan,aadhar and mobile)
            Reply
            1. A
              akr
              Mar 11, 2016 at 11:11 am
              target subsidy is good for preventing , leakage and corruption in govt welfare schemes
              Reply
              1. A
                AB
                Mar 11, 2016 at 2:58 pm
                In the present (technologically) un-secure era, can the Central Government give any guarantee about the safety of the data (of the Citizens) stored in a digital form? What about the illegal activities of various domestic and foreign intelligence outfits operating inside and outside the country? Say YES to the Right to Privacy. Say NO to Aadhar Bill (and to a Surveillance State)!
                Reply
                1. D
                  Dhaval Dhanani
                  Mar 11, 2016 at 12:41 pm
                  bjp is worst than congress. I hope supreme court intervene.
                  Reply
                  1. D
                    Dhaval Dhanani
                    Mar 11, 2016 at 12:42 pm
                    supreme court has said before that aadhar card can not be mandatory to avail any government subsidies or benefits. even for LPG subsidies are directly deposited to banks and there is no need of giving biometric details.
                    Reply
                    1. D
                      din
                      Mar 11, 2016 at 7:48 pm
                      good FOR the country and employment, “INDIA’S SWORN ENEMY IS CONGRESS AND CONTAMINATOR RAHOOL-SONYA” just clear them and Indias good days program can start -there are MANY good citizens WHO can understan NaMo's plan (THE world's uneducated can understan than why can't educated Indians can't ?
                      Reply
                      1. A
                        ah
                        Mar 15, 2016 at 11:35 am
                        Adhar will be dangerous in the hands of wrong people ......................... FIRST and foremost all Govt. of NDA should have ADHAR does jatly have Adhar? does Sushma Swaraj, Narendra Modi, Smriti Irani, Aditya Yogi, Bhagwat, Togadia, Ramdev, Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti etc. etc. HAVE Adhar???? can someone find out???? ................................. a bad case scenario ................ govt. announces scheme for upliftment of some groups who will be paid by Adhar liked Bank account for example WIDOWS .................. now within few months NOgt; of Widows with Adhar card linked Bank account will go to Lacs NOW we know how Computers can be HACKED or tweaked by their own DEVELOPERS and eith the help of POLITICIANS no. WIDOWS will rise drmatically and WHO on earth can verify Lacs of person VERY year??? Govt. will exhuast all resources ..................... it is simialr to MAHARASHTRA police going to every home in every village to PHTOGRAPHS cow ......... Does not police have other works like booking Bhujbals or Mallyas to go on verifying that every cow is in database and in good health???
                        Reply
                        1. N
                          Nova
                          Mar 17, 2016 at 8:54 am
                          RSS philosophy is behind the Aadhar Bill executed by remote control PM.
                          Reply
                          1. F
                            FrankOpinion
                            Mar 11, 2016 at 9:33 pm
                            Chand$!ya
                            Reply
                            1. K
                              KS KUMAR
                              Mar 12, 2016 at 1:47 am
                              NDA has done a good job. RS with members like Tyagi, Sharad Yadav, Yechury and Raja has become redundant. These members from the time BJP hs come to power have only been negative in all matters and never had a good word for anything done by the govt.
                              Reply
                              1. M
                                Moreshwar
                                Mar 12, 2016 at 3:27 pm
                                Although AADHAR is a necessity and imminent for better governance , the route chosen by present government ie coloring legislation so as to present it as a money bill ,contradicts the principle of deliberation on which exists the parliamentary democracy
                                Reply
                                1. M
                                  manoj
                                  Mar 15, 2016 at 3:42 pm
                                  Aadhar Bill is ped, but citizen has to face a lot of hurdle due to weak outsourced infrastructre, fragile network connectivity and biometric issues due to ageing and people engaged in long hour of physical labour. Aadhar will become an excuse for not delivering the dues and haring them in the name of authentication. Govt must make all-out efforts to establish a robust infrastructure ( as good as Indian Railway) in each of 638,000 villages of the country. Connectivity issue should be given top priority. Targeted benefit schemes should not become a hostage to outsourced infrastructure, as the vendors are working purely for commission. For Example, I had registered for Aadhar Card in Jul 2013, when I inquired from UIDAI in Oct 2015 regarding status of Aadhar Card, they replied that the Agency has not uploaded the data to UIDAI database due to loss of contract, and advised me re-register!!!!
                                  Reply
                                  1. M
                                    MS
                                    Mar 11, 2016 at 11:31 am
                                    Power of Money Bill. Correct it (if you feel) when you come to power.
                                    Reply
                                    1. M
                                      mumbikar
                                      Mar 12, 2016 at 7:40 am
                                      so, basically what liar jaitley is saying that " RSS watching evrybody, and we will send our thugs to ur house "
                                      Reply
                                      1. M
                                        mast kalandar
                                        Mar 11, 2016 at 1:51 pm
                                        You illiterate man, because supreme court is interferring too much that is why Aadhar has now been ped as a money bill to make it into a law which no body can mess with
                                        Reply
                                        1. P
                                          Priya
                                          Mar 12, 2016 at 10:13 am
                                          THE NEW WORLD ORDER STARTS WITH AADHAR CARD THEY CAN SWITCH OFF YOUR LIFE USING THIS CARD-- YOU CANT WITHDRAW MONEY BY ATM, YOU CANT COOK, YOU CANT SHOP, YOU CANT RENT A HOME, YOU CANT GET MEDICARE, YOU CANT TRAVEL, YOU CANT STAY IN HOTEL, YOU CANT COMMUNICATE, YOU CANT GET A JOB, YOUR POSITION ON THE PLANET WILL BE KNOWN TO 3 CMS, YOUR BIOMETRICS ARE KNOWN AND HENCE YOU CAN BE KILLED FOR YOUR KIDNEY-- THE LIST IS ENDLESS-
                                          Reply
                                          1. M
                                            murty
                                            Mar 11, 2016 at 5:51 pm
                                            and go on loot the publiuc money by corrupt babus and political partiues.and tax the riued cl.even without aadhar you r data anywhere stored is not secured.FB,Gogle,Telcom is they are safe???CMs phones are tapped by other CM in Hyderabad.???what you say about safety of data???people has to see over all benifit to country????
                                            Reply
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