To whose benefit?

To whose benefit?

The government has rolled out the ambitious Aadhaar-enabled direct cash transfer scheme, but the Left feels the legality of this scheme is yet to be settled in the absence a law enacted by Parliament. The CPM weekly, People's Democracy, argues that the National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2011, is still pending before Parliament and notes that a parliamentary standing committee has already made it clear that the bill, in its present form, is unacceptable.

According to the committee, it says, the data collected by the UIDAI may be transferred to the National Population Register and has asked the government to reconsider and review the UID scheme, as also the ramifications of all the proposals contained in the bill, and bring fresh legislation before Parliament.

"The current launch of the scheme is based on the clearance of the ministry of law and justice for issuing Aadhaar numbers, pending passage of the bill by Parliament on the ground that powers of the executive are co-extensive with the legislative power of the government, and that the government is not debarred from exercising its executive power in areas which are not regulated by legislation. The parliamentary standing committee completely disagrees with such an understanding," it argues.

An editorial in People's Democracy claims the system has inherent weaknesses, like low reliability and success rate of fingerprint recognition, low penetration of banks in rural areas and problems in identification of beneficiaries. "The basic philosophy behind this scheme is that over a period of time, the government will dismantle all its obligations in the social sector. Cash transfers will automatically and continuously reduce the government's subsidy bill. This is so because as prices rise, the quantities available to people get reduced in proportion to the cash transferred," it concludes.


... contd.

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