The Assam government on Wednesday said it has intimated the Supreme Court of its inability to stick to the March 31 deadline for linking Aadhaar with various core services. The state government has conveyed the message to the apex court via the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), a minister told the Assembly on Wednesday. “The Assam government has already intimated the Supreme Court through the UIDAI (about not sticking to the deadline), So, there is no need to panic (for linking the Aadhaar card),” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary told the Assembly.
The Income Tax Department has already excluded Assam from linking Aadhaar by March 31, he claimed. The issue was raised by All India United Democratic Front MLA Aminul Islam during the Zero Hour. Islam pointed out that the people in the state are apprehensive that various services like bank accounts and LPG connections might get frozen as the process of Aadhaar card distribution will begin only from March this year. “The Supreme Court fixed the deadline of March 31 for linking Aadhaar. People are in fear as they will not get Aadhaar by March. So, is the government doing something in this regard?” Islam asked.
Replying on behalf of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who also holds the General Administration Department, Patowary told the House that 92 per cent of the population in Assam do not have Aadhaar at present, so there is no need to panic. He said the government has identified 1,241 locations to set up ‘Aadhaar Kendras’ for starting the process of Aadhaar distribution in the state and they will be ready to offer services by March 15.
Patowary said the UIDAI has cancelled the distribution of Aadhaar cards through its empanelled enrollment agency. “The distribution process of Aadhaar cards was expected to begin from December 25 last year by a UIDAI empanelled enrollment agency. But on December 4, UIDAI informed the state government of scrapping the process to give the cards through the agency,” he added. He informed the House that the UIDAI had asked to start the process through state government employees.
Accordingly, the state government has began the process and has set March 2018 as the target to begin the Aadhaar card distribution by activating the Aadhaar Kendras. The government has already directed the deputy commissioners of the districts to take necessary steps in setting up these Aadhaar Kendras and arrangements have been made to appoint one government employee as ‘verifier’ in each centre, Patowary said. He also clarified that Aadhaar card has no relation with the citizenship issue or the update process of the National Register of Citizens.
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