Defending government’s move to link Aadhar with Permanent Account Number (PAN), Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Friday that it was done to stop money laundering. “Aadhaar is a digital identity not a physical identity. Digital identity confirms physical identity. We linked PAN card to Aadhaar to stop money laundering,” the Law and Information & Technology minister said while speaking at the Digital Haryana Summit 2017.
The government has extended its earlier deadline to link the two by four months, which means, people can link their PAN with Aadhaar till December 31. The move has been made mandatory for filing Income Tax Returns.
“We are planning to link Driving Licence to Aadhaar. I have had a word with Gadkari Ji (Road and Transport minister) regarding this,” Prasad added. Amid fears of data theft, earlier this week, the IT Minister had said that the government expected to put in place a “robust” legislative framework for data protection by the end of his year.
“I hope the data protection law should come by the end of this year. You are dealing with an issue which is of seminal importance and I have myself requested that there should be widest debate among the stakeholders. Those advocating privacy and those supporting innovation — all should be heard. My view is that India’s data protection law must become a milestone,” Prasad told The Indian Express.
The government has also expressed confidence over Aadhaar’s constitutionality. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the Aadhaar law will “pass the test of constitutionality” and it is important to build “iron walls” to protect people’s data.
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