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.


Search This Blog

Monday, March 21, 2016

9589 - Govt’s LPG Savings Not Rs 14,672 Crore But Rs 97-Crore Loss: Study - Fact Checker






March 19, 2016 by Factchecker Team

The government has said that direct transfers of subsidies to cooking-gas consumers have saved Rs 14,672 crore ($2.2 billion) but it actually led to a loss of Rs 97 crore ($14 million), according to an analysis by the Global Subsidies Initiative, a part of Canada-based International Institute For Sustainable Development (IISD).

The reduction in cooking-gas subsidies in 2014-15 was no more than Rs 143 crore ($21 million), the study said.

The government set aside Rs 200 crore ($30 million) to implement the direct benefit transfers for liquefied petroleum gas (DBTL), or Pratyaksh Hanstantrit Labh (PAHAL), of which Rs 40 crore ($6 million) were commissions paid in 2014-15, the study said, quoting the government’s own figures.

“Therefore, the maximum net saving, according to the government’s own figures—without accurately accounting for the costs of implementation and entirely discounting Rs 5,234 crore ($781 million) provided in permanent advances (and associated interest costs)—was approximately (-) Rs. 97 crore ($14 million),” the IISD report said.

On October 12, 2015, the government said 33.4 million consumers were blocked under PAHAL and related activities. “If we take into account the quota of 12 cylinders per consumer and the average LPG subsidy of Rs 336 [sic] per cylinder for the year 2014–15, estimated savings in LPG subsidy due to the blocking of 33.4 million accounts work out to Rs 14,672 crore ($2.2 billion), during that year,” the government’s release said.

Subsidies have grown four-fold over the last 10 years, IndiaSpend reported earlier.

Petroleum subsidies increased from Rs 2,820 crore in 2007-08 to an estimated Rs 26,947 crore in the budget estimates for 2016-17, a nine-fold growth.



The petroleum subsidy peaked at Rs 96,880 crore ($17.9 billion at an exchange rate of Rs 54/$) in 2012-13 and declined to about Rs 30,000 crore ($4.4 billion) in the revised budget estimates for 2015-16.

Public data “clearly demonstrate” that DBTL was not responsible for identifying and blocking 33.4 million connections or even a significant fraction of this number, the IISD study said.

“… the large majority of the connections formally identified and blocked as of March 31, 2015 (and presented as blocked by DBTL) were done prior to the nationwide introduction of DBTL, and through methods entirely unrelated to DBTL or Aadhaar,” the report said.

Fake and duplicate connections unearthed—but not as the government claims

A large majority of potentially irregular connections were identified through a process unrelated to DBTL. “The only mechanism for identifying and blocking potentially irregular connections that was specific to the DBTL programme (as implemented) was Aadhaar-based de-duplication,” the IISD report said.

The government’s own figures have demonstrated that the maximum number of potential duplicates identified in LPG databases through Aadhaar-based de-duplication is approximately 1% (or less) of connections assessed—a figure that may relate to an even smaller percentage of consumption, the IISD study reported.

The list-based de-duplication was between 15 to 20 times more effective in identifying irregular connections than the Aadhaar-based method, while imposing less than 1% of the equivalent cost of implementation to both government and beneficiaries.

“In the case of LPG, the path to substantive subsidy reform is clear—reinstatement of a realistic per-household cylinder cap, adjustment of the per-cylinder price-to-subsidy ratio, a crash programme of access extension to all non-connected households, and rapid expansion and formalisation of access to smaller cylinders (both subsidised and unsubsidised),” the IISD study said.

The Finance Minister’s LPG expansion programme

During his budget speech, the Finance Minister announced plans to give cooking gas to 50 million households that live below the poverty line.

“We have decided to embark upon on a massive mission to provide LPG connection in the name of women members of poor households,” said Jaitley. “I have set aside a sum of Rs 2,000 crore ($290 million) in this year’s Budget to meet the initial cost of providing these LPG connections. This will benefit about 15 million households below the poverty line (BPL) in 2016-17. The scheme will be continued for at least two more years to cover a total of 50 million BPL households.”

The proposal has also been welcomed by experts. As columnist Swaminathan Anklesaria Aiyar wrote: “The analysis of Arun Jaitley’s Budget has focused on issues like the fiscal deficit, boost to infrastructure, and sundry tax measures. Yet in terms of life and death, by far his most important proposal is the scheme to provide LPG (cooking gas) to the poorest 50 million households over the next few years. This finally shows sensitivity to one of India’s greatest health hazards that has long been ignored…indoor pollution has always been a far greater health hazard, killing and maiming million… at last we have recognised a huge problem terribly neglected for decades.”