Sumitra Mahajan, Lok Sabha Speaker: The question is that leave be granted to introduce a Bill to provide for, good governance; efficient, transparent, and targeted delivery of subsidies, benefits and services, the expenditure for which is incurred from the Consolidated Fund of India, to individuals residing in India through assigning of unique identity numbers to such individuals and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The motion was adopted.
Arun Jaitley (finance minister): Madam, I introduce the Bill.
Kharge: Madam, I would like to have one clarification. Hon minister may tell us whether this is a Money Bill or not... (Interruptions)... You make your intentions clear. This itself shows that you want to avoid the Rajya Sabha.
Jaitley: Madam, this Bill is substantially and significantly different from the Bill that my learned colleagues are talking about. The principal purpose, the pith and substance of this Bill is that whoever gets the benefits of any form of government subsidies Aadhaar Card production may be necessary (for them). It is on expenditure of the government exclusively. All such Bills in the past have been Money Bills. Workmen (Injuries) Act has been a Money Bill. Juvenile Justice Bill, introduced in 1986 by their government, was a Money Bill. I can give a whole list of them. This is strictly in accordance with Article 110. I have introduced the Bill. It is for the Speaker to now examine it and certify whether it is a Money Bill or not and that ruling is final... (Interruptions)
Kharge: Madam, there was clause-by-clause consideration of the Bill in the Standing Committee... (Interruptions)
Jaitley: When you were in power no Money Bill was ever introduced. Is that your case? There is a scheme of a Money Bill. There is a particular methodology of a Money Bill. It has to satisfy the ingredients of the Money Bill… (Interruptions) I do not know how the Juvenile Justice Bill was considered a Money Bill.
Bhartruhari Mahtab (Cuttack MP): As per Rule 72 (1), "If a motion for leave to introduce a Bill is opposed, the Speaker, if she thinks fit after permitting brief statements from the members who oppose the motion and the member who moved the motion may without further debate put the question." A proviso is also there. I had also intended to give a notice, before or after the introduction of the Bill, contesting the introduction of the Bill. But I would be very frank today and say that I could not give the notice before 10 o'clock. I asked Saugatada whether he has given a notice or not. He is not present here. It is because many a time both of us consult each other. But it all depends on the Chair to allow us to speak a few words on this Bill because this Bill has been a contentious issue for many years as Jyotiradityaji has mentioned. This Bill was introduced during the time of the UPA and it had been referred to the Standing Committee. The Committee had come out with a number of objections. As far as I remember, this Bill also is a part of the Rajya Sabha and whether it has been withdrawn or not, we are not aware. It was supposed to be withdrawn today. That is what the Rajya Sabha agenda had said. Today, the basic concern was being expressed about Aadhaar number because that was the issue which went to the Supreme Court. The legality of this went to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court, of course, gave a judgement. But the major issue was whether the Aadhaar number should be an evidence of citizenship or domicile. That was a point of concern and that has been mentioned in this Bill. The other concern was whether adequate firewall has been created to protect the privacy of every citizen. I still have my doubt. Then its legality also comes in view that if I am not interested to be a part of this scheme of things, I will be denied a number of things that will be provided through this number.
I am not going into its merits but I am saying that I will be denied my right. That is the point of concern. I think on that basis, this Bill needs to be clarified.
Jaitley: Madam, may I clarify Mahtab's point? This Bill is significantly different from the earlier Bill. This Bill confines itself only to governmental expenditure and that the real beneficiaries must get governmental expenditure. There is a clear ruling in regard to a machinery for either collection of money or spending money. There is a clear ruling of Mavalankar from this Chair that merely because a machinery is provided which will verify this does not make a Bill, ceases to be a Money Bill. It will continue to be a Money Bill because you cannot have any Bill which only has one provision either a taxing provision or a spending provision. A machinery will have to be provided for how the money is to be spent. Therefore, Mavalankar, as Speaker, said that under Article 110 merely because a machinery is provided it does not cease to be a Money Bill. Now we examined every fact and both the points which Mahtab has raised. Section 9 says this Aadhaar Number will not confer any citizenship. There is a categorical declaration in the Bill. Under Section 28, security and confidentiality of information has been squarely addressed. Therefore, the grounds of privacy on which it was challenged have already been addressed in this particular Bill. All that the Bill says is that if you want the benefit of a government subsidy, the government can ask you to produce an Aadhaar number. That is all it says.
Mahtab: But Section 33 is still a point of concern.
Mahajan: First thing is that nobody has given any notice. Now the Bill has already been introduced... (Interruptions)
Kharge: I had written a letter to Naiduji yesterday evening. The Members of the other House have also written letters to Naiduji. So instead of bringing additional agenda, they could have brought it in the routine course.
Mahajan: That is my prerogative. I have allowed him.
M Venkaiah Naidu (urban development minister): Madam Speaker, it is a fact that Khargeji wrote to me. But the point is the Bill was circulated earlier and then it is introduced today. Now it is over. You can discuss about the merits when the Bill is taken up for consideration. It is a question of saving of Rs 20,000 crore for the country. Let us wait… (Interruptions)
Jaitley: I will give a list to Kharge when his party was in power. The Juvenile Justice Bill, 1986 - it was a Money Bill. African Development Bank Bill, 1983 - it was a Money Bill. Workmen Injury Compensation, 1963, was a Money Bill. Please look into your own track record. This is a Bill, which is a textbook example of squarely being a Money Bill because it only deals with government expenditure… (Interruptions)
Mahajan: It is my prerogative.