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Amitabh Kant: Aadhaar helped govt save over Rs 2 lakh crore

He also called Aadhaar one of the “most successful” biometric based identity programs in the world, which has prompted deliberations and discussions with international multilateral agencies.

Amitabh Kant. (File)

Niti Aayog Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant Wednesday said that Aadhaar has become the “bedrock” for the government’s welfare schemes and has saved over Rs 2 lakh crore to the government by “eliminating fake and duplicate identities”. He also called Aadhaar one of the “most successful” biometric based identity programs in the world, which has prompted deliberations and discussions with international multilateral agencies, like the World Bank and United Nations, to explore how the Aadhar architecture may be adopted in other countries.

“It is remarkable how  315 Central Schemes and 500 state schemes are leveraging Aadhaar to ensure effective delivery of services…Aadhaar has now become the bedrock for government welfare schemes, ensuring faster benefit transfers without any interruption or intermediaries, saving Rs 2.22 lakh crore rupees to the government by eliminating fake and duplicate identities,” Kant said at a workshop on ‘Recent Initiatives for Simplifying Aadhaar usage’.

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Kant added that Aadhaar’s use case goes much beyond welfare delivery as it has also laid “strong foundational” work for Digital India by enhancing financial inclusion and “disrupting” the payments landscape in the country. “Aadhaar has set an example globally of how the digitisation of public infrastructure can play an enormous role in inclusive development. We are not surprised that many countries are looking to replicate the Aadhaar system to digitise their public infrastructure…every household now has access to formal banking services along with a platform for availing low value credit, insurance and pension schemes.,” he added.

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Aadhaar, he said, has particularly played a key role in “financially empowering women”. “Earlier, the ration card, usually issued in the name of the male head, was a common identification document that was used by the whole family. However, individual family members, especially, women had no individual ID card that they could use independently. Now the Aadhaar card has enabled women to directly receive benefits from the government welfare schemes by opening a personal bank account through Jan Dhan accounts linked with Aadhaar…while Aadhaar has been a catalyst for digital innovation in the country, the central principle is inclusion — providing access to all, irrespective of their income status, gender and educational gap,” he added.

On Sunday, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had withdrawn an advisory issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the Aadhaar agency, which cautioned people to not share a photocopy of the document with entities such as hotels and cinema halls owing to the possibility of “misuse”. According to the Ministry, the statement was withdrawn because it could be “misinterpreted”.

First published on: 02-06-2022 at 01:59:11 am
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