Nandan Nilekani lays out digitisation, Aadhaar, GST benefits; says, direct benefit can revive power sector

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Published: April 23, 2019 12:39:31 PM

Nandan Nilekani applauded these programmes and stressed on the need for digital infrastructure to revive the economy.

India’s direct benefit transfer scheme, the largest such programme in the world, can help revive the stressed power sector, said Infosys co-founder and famed tech entrepreneur Nandan Nilekani. This, and others, are among the numerous benefits to the Indian economy being brought about by increasing digitisation and use of Aadhaar — the country’s unique ID programme, he said. Nandan Nilekani was also the first chairperson of the Unique Identification Authority of India, the parent organisation of Aadhaar.

Narendra Modi government introduced ‘Digital India’ in 2015 to push digital adoption, and also launched various initiatives such as Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Aadhaar in order to promote inclusive governance and simplify the lives of people in India.

Nandan Nilekani applauded these programmes and stressed on the need for digital infrastructure to revive the economy. Aadhaar e-KYC has been revolutionary in making life simpler for people, Nandan Nilekani said at an event organised by FICCI on ‘Digital India and its impact on Economy and Industry’ in Bengaluru. India now has the infrastructure to deal with direct benefits transfer (DBT) in any segment, he said, adding that DBT has the potential to revive the power sector.

Nandan Nilekani sought to allay the concerns over data privacy, linked to Aadhaar. The activists have mixed the issue of commercialisation of data and surveillance using data, he said. In fact, the act has strengthened the data privacy law and the privacy argument is broader than just being limited to Aadhaar data, he said. The Aadhaar implementation agency has not been collecting data on anyone and has taken several measures to prevent commercialisation of Aadhaar data, he added.

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Nandan Nilekani also lauded the success of the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), pointing out towards the increase in number of taxpayers. “GSTN is a great example of technology-led cooperative federalism,” he said. Infosys was the nodal agency responsible for development and maintenance of GSTN.

Digital empowerment has led to greater inclusiveness, with the efforts of government as well as several private sector enterprises, added Mr Sandip Somany, President, FICCI at the event.

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