A parliamentary panel has suggested earmarking a separate fund for promotion of Aadhaar to educate people about the “benefits” of the biometric identifier. The Standing Committee on IT in its report tabled in the Lok Sabha today, underscored the need to publicise the inherent safeguards in Aadhaar Act 2016, pertaining to data and privacy protection and “dispel any doubts/apprehensions/misgivings” in the minds of the general public. Stressing the need to create a “positive perception”, the Committee, chaired by Anurag Singh Thakur, recommended “earmarking separate fund for promotion of Aadhaar and increasing its usage amongst the masses”. “It should be used to educate the people about the benefits of Aadhaar and how they can use it to avail various Government services and performing digital payments in an easy and hassle free manner,” the Committee said. The panel observed that while there have been concerns about Aadhaar data safety and security, it was given to understand that the concerns raised regarding security have been dealt with and addressed by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
Noting that Aadhaar offered the possibility of sending money, the Committee said that the biometric identifier was “perceived as financial address in the banking sector”. Further, the committee said that the Aadhaar-enabled payments system (AePS) facilitates basic banking access, including cash withdrawal, cash deposit, balance enquiry and fund transfers, in a hassle-free manner.
“While taking note of the fact that Aadhaar finds immense applications in the domain of digital payments, the Committee strongly feel the need to promote innovative Aadhaar based applications such as AEPS, Aadhaar Pay and Pay-to-Aadhaar for successful transformation from predominantly cash-based economy to less-cash economy,” the report added.