Government money by way of various subsidies and welfare schemes should reach the right hands, union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday. Introducing the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016, in the Rajya Sabha, the minister said: “If subsidies are given as unquantified amounts to unidentified sections, then non-merit people will get subsidies and merit people will not get it… So, for people to get the benefit of subsidies, the production of UID or other alternative document has to be the pre-condition.”
“Both central and state governments give several subsidies to people. There are monetary assistances, cost rebates, subsidies etc. given which run into lakhs of crores of rupees. Now, these subsidies have to be quantified amounts given to identifiable sections,” Jaitley added.
He said that the present bill borrows certain ideas from the UPA bill that every citizen needs to have a unique identification number but beyond that the new bill was “completely different in pith and substance” from the UPA bill.
“The previous UPA government had also brought a legislation on Aadhaar. In that bill, the purpose of the personal data and biometrics information collected through the exercise was not defined,” Jaitley said.
“Compared to the UPA bill, the proposed law lays down a very strict procedure, the privacy law is much more tightened,” he said.