First batch of ID numbers in 18 months, says Nilekani

Written by Press Trust of India | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: Sep 30 2009, 05:44am hrs
The first batch of unique identification numbers would be issued in the next 18 months, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chairman Nandan Nilekani on Tuesday said.

Nilekani stated this while briefing top Kerala government officials on the preparations to be made for the issuance of UIDAI numbers for citizens, official sources said. Nilekani said in the meeting attended by chief secretary Neela Gangadharan that the unique numbers issued to citizens would not replace the existing ID cards, but could be used for availing benefits of various welfare schemes being taken up by the government for the less privileged sections of society. There would be a one-time registration fee of Rs 30-Rs 40 for the identification number, he said adding who would bear the cost was a political decision to be taken later. The Unique Identification number would be made mandatory over a period of time, he said. Nilekani also explained the various aspects of the proposed identity number and its benefits to the citizens.