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Sunday, September 26, 2021

House passes Parivar Pehchan Bill; infringement of right to privacy: Cong

The chief minister said that a petition was filed in this regard in the High Court, to which the court said that there is no objection to the collection of data for the PPP scheme.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
August 25, 2021 9:24:02 am
Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala in the Vidhan Sabha, Tuesday.( Express photo)

THE HARYANA Assembly on Tuesday passed a Bill aimed at creating a unique identification number for each family and preparing their database to enable them to access various government services. The Opposition Congress called the move “an infringement of the right to privacy”, while the government insisted that it was needed to generate unique data.

The BJP-JJP government said that the Haryana Parivar Pehchan Bill, 2021, has been passed to provide a ‘Parivar Pehchan’ number as a unique identifier number to each family “as is generally required for the determination of eligibility for any scheme, service, subsidy or benefit provided or implemented by or on behalf of the state government or by any government agency or local authority”. The Bill also seeks to establish the Parivar Pehchan Authority and empower it to collect and maintain information in the Family Information Data Repository.

However, Opposition MLAs raised serious questions over the move. Former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda demanded withdrawal of the Bill while Congress MLA Kiran Choudhry called it an “infringement of fundamental rights to privacy”. “It’s a draconian law in a totalitarian regime. The common man will be exposed to snooping,” said Choudhry, a former minister.

Another Congress MLA and former minister Geeta Bhukkal said the privacy of individuals should be honoured. Bhukkal said: The chief minister should focus on welfare schemes for the people. The survey for the identification of BPL families has not been carried out for a long time.” Raising questions on the necessity of PPP, the legislator said that people are already forced to keep several IDs in their pockets. Congress MLA Shamsher Gogi alleged that attempts are being made to bring back monarchy through democracy, adding that “there was no need to make the people slaves”. Congress MLAs said the PPP should not be an instrument to keep an eye on the privacy of individuals.

However, calling these apprehensions baseless, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar insisted that the government already has certain details of individuals including property related information in records of revenue and PDS (public distribution scheme). He said the Haryana government is coming up with reformative schemes. He said: “No one built a system for the benefit of the last person in the queue. Parivar Pehchan Patra (PPP) scheme has been formulated to deliver the benefits of the schemes till the last person.” He said that work is being done on this scheme for the past three years and 64 lakh families in the state have been registered in the PPP so far. “Anyone who wants to take advantage of government service should have some document of being a resident of Haryana. Citizens of Haryana have the first right to facilities provided by the Haryana government.”

The chief minister said that a petition was filed in this regard in the High Court, to which the court said that there is no objection to the collection of data for the PPP scheme. He said: “Our plan is being discussed not only in the country but also abroad.” He said that the Ambassador of Germany also appreciated this scheme.

The chief minister said different departments have their own data which sometimes does not match up. Keeping this in mind, the PPP scheme has been prepared to generate unique data. He added that till now there were 10 conditions for BPL families, including the condition of not having a fridge, TV and land. He said that till now BPL was considered to be that family whose annual income is Rs 1.2 lakh. Under the PPP scheme, families with an annual income of Rs 1.8 lakh will be included in BPL. “This will benefit about 3 lakh more families of the state.”

The chief minister said that birth, death and marriage registration would also be linked with PPP. “With this, real time data will be available with us, which will make planning and implementation easier. Out of 3.3 lakh government employees of Haryana, 2,98,274 employees have got their PPP made,” he added.
The chief minister said “There is a lot of data in the system which is completely safe. IT security features have been used to secure the data of the PPP. No one can use this information without permission. If there is any kind of theft of this data, then a provision of punishment has also been made.”

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