uid

When I opposed Aadhaar in 2010 , I was called a BJP stooge. In 2016 I am still opposing Aadhaar for the same reasons and I am told I am a Congress die hard. No one wants to see why I oppose Aadhaar as it is too difficult. Plus Aadhaar is FREE so why not get one ? Ram Krishnaswamy

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mahatma Gandhi

In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place. Mahatma Gandhi

“The invasion of privacy is of no consequence because privacy is not a fundamental right and has no meaning under Article 21. The right to privacy is not a guaranteed under the constitution, because privacy is not a fundamental right.” Article 21 of the Indian constitution refers to the right to life and liberty -Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi

“There is merit in the complaints. You are unwittingly allowing snooping, harassment and commercial exploitation. The information about an individual obtained by the UIDAI while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose, save as above, except as may be directed by a court for the purpose of criminal investigation.” -A three judge bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar said in an interim order.

Legal scholar Usha Ramanathan describes UID as an inverse of sunshine laws like the Right to Information. While the RTI makes the state transparent to the citizen, the UID does the inverse: it makes the citizen transparent to the state, she says.

Good idea gone bad
I have written earlier that UID/Aadhaar was a poorly designed, unreliable and expensive solution to the really good idea of providing national identification for over a billion Indians. My petition contends that UID in its current form violates the right to privacy of a citizen, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. This is because sensitive biometric and demographic information of citizens are with enrolment agencies, registrars and sub-registrars who have no legal liability for any misuse of this data. This petition has opened up the larger discussion on privacy rights for Indians. The current Article 21 interpretation by the Supreme Court was done decades ago, before the advent of internet and today’s technology and all the new privacy challenges that have arisen as a consequence.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP Rajya Sabha

“What is Aadhaar? There is enormous confusion. That Aadhaar will identify people who are entitled for subsidy. No. Aadhaar doesn’t determine who is eligible and who isn’t,” Jairam Ramesh

But Aadhaar has been mythologised during the previous government by its creators into some technology super force that will transform governance in a miraculous manner. I even read an article recently that compared Aadhaar to some revolution and quoted a 1930s historian, Will Durant. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Rajya Sabha MP

“I know you will say that it is not mandatory. But, it is compulsorily mandatorily voluntary,” Jairam Ramesh, Rajya Saba April 2017


Special

Here is what the Parliament Standing Committee on Finance, which examined the draft N I A Bill said.

1. There is no feasibility study of the project]

2. The project was approved in haste

3. The system has far-reaching consequences for national security

4. The project is directionless with no clarity of purpose

5. It is built on unreliable and untested technology

6. The exercise becomes futile in case the project does not continue beyond the present number of 200 million enrolments

7. There is lack of coordination and difference of views between various departments and ministries of government on the project

Quotes

What was said before the elections:

NPR & UID aiding Aliens – Narendra Modi

"I don't agree to Nandan Nilekeni and his madcap (UID) scheme which he is trying to promote," Senior BJP Leader Yashwant Sinha, Sept 2012

"All we have to show for the hundreds of thousands of crore spent on Aadhar is a Congress ticket for Nilekani" Yashwant Sinha.(27/02/2014)

TV Mohandas Pai, former chief financial officer and head of human resources, tweeted: "selling his soul for power; made his money in the company wedded to meritocracy." Money Life Article

Nilekani’s reporting structure is unprecedented in history; he reports directly to the Prime Minister, thus bypassing all checks and balances in government - Home Minister Chidambaram

To refer to Aadhaar as an anti corruption tool despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary is mystifying. That it is now officially a Rs.50,000 Crores solution searching for an explanation is also without any doubt. -- Statement by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP & Member, Standing Committee on Finance

Finance minister P Chidambaram’s statement, in an exit interview to this newspaper, that Aadhaar needs to be re-thought completely is probably the last nail in its coffin. :-) Financial Express

The Rural Development Ministry headed by Jairam Ramesh created a road Block and refused to make Aadhaar mandatory for making wage payment to people enrolled under the world’s largest social security scheme NRGA unless all residents are covered.


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Sunday, March 6, 2016

9381 - Centre goes for deeper LPG sops cut - Financial Express


Seizing the opportunity presented by a narrowing of the difference between subsidised and market prices of LPG bottles, the government has turned more aggressive in its efforts to deny the subsidy to the relatively well-off.

By: Siddhartha P Saikia | New Delhi | February 19, 2016 1:09 AM

Seizing the opportunity presented by a narrowing of the difference between subsidised and market prices of LPG bottles, the government has turned more aggressive in its efforts to deny the subsidy to the relatively well-off. Households with an annual income of above Rs 10 lakh will not receive the subsidy in bank accounts from April 1, official sources told FE.

Text messages sent recently to LPG consumers by the three state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) read as follows: “If your/spouse income is above (R) 10 lacs, LPG subsidy is not admissible as per govt directive. If so, submit a declaration to your distributor or at www.mylpg.in.”

While this on the face of it would seem a reiteration of the December 2015 statement by the petroleum ministry where it said that the subsidy “will not be available for LPG consumers if the consumer or his/her spouse had taxable income of more than Rs 10,00,000/- during the previous financial year,” the OMCs’ text message is in fact sterner for two crucial changes: The OMCs are merely speaking of “income”, which is typically higher than “taxable income” (up to a quarter in case one is at the lower end of the highest 30% tax slab) mentioned in the ministry’s December circular and second, they are silent on “self-declaration” of income by the consumers.

Sources said whether or not the consumers defined as above declare their income, the government would get to know of his/her income from their Aadhaar-seeded bank accounts and stop giving LPG subsidies if the income is found to be above the threshold.

“You have submitted your Aadhaar number with us and the same is with the bank. IndianOil would track your account and if your total income is more than Rs 10 lakh a year, subsidy would automatically be stopped,” said a South Delhi-based distributor.
Currently, there are about 270 million households in the country and 163.5 million domestic LPG connections. Nearly 3% of the total households or 8.1 million have an annual income level of more than Rs 10 lakh, according to the all-India survey for FY15 by Delhi-based People Research on India’s Consumer Economy (PRICE). However, taxpayers with an annual taxable income of more than Rs 10 lakh as per the tax authorities’ data basis is just about 2 million.

The crash in global crude oil prices has brought down the subsidy amounts drastically. Currently, a subsidised domestic LPG refill costs Rs 419.22, while its price sans subsidy is Rs 575 in the national capital, much lower than around Rs 1,000 per refill in early 2014. Coupled with this, the government’s efforts to reduce the subsidy are also helped by the success of the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme on LPG (PAHAL). As of January 1, 2015, when PAHAL went pan-India, the number of registered LPG consumers stood at 181.9 million. Thanks to the scheme that restricted LPG refills to 12 a year and led to transfer of the subsidy directly to the bank accounts of intended beneficiaries, the number fell to 148.5 million by April 1.
Of course, the connections have since swelled to 163.5 million, partly because commercial users of LNG, a fraction of which used to be disguised as household consumers, have come clean.
The “GiveItUp” campaign launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March 2015 has led to 6.5 million consumers surrendering their LPG subsidies. This has resulted in provisions of LPG connections to more than 5 million rural households, according to the petroleum ministry.

In the first nine months of FY16, the government has forked out Rs 12,093 crore towards subsidising domestic cooking gas. The subsidy was Rs 36,580 crore in FY15 while it was Rs 46,458 crore in FY14.