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.

August 24, 2017: The nine-judge Constitution Bench rules that right to privacy is “intrinsic to life and liberty” and is inherently protected under the various fundamental freedoms enshrined under Part III of the Indian Constitution

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the World; indeed it's the only thing that ever has"

“Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.” - Edward Snowden

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.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

9816 - Jaitley to States: Stick to fiscal discipline, invest more in social sector, rural areas - Indian Express



Jaitley said national focus is on larger expenditure on social sector, infrastructure creation and rural areas, which have conventionally been found lacking in the past.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and MoS for Finance, Jayant Sinha during the second conference of the State Finance Secretaries, in New Delhi on Monday. (Source: PTI)
The government may have last week given nod to states for extra borrowing, but it wants them to spend within the fiscal limits and adhere to fiscal discipline. Finance minister Arun Jaitley wants states to do meaningful spending, focused on developmental activities in rural infrastructure and social sector, which were the thrust areas of 2016-17 Union Budget as well.
“It is quite obvious that what states were getting in Thirteenth Finance Commission and what they are getting now, it may have come down in one-two heads but substantially other overall volumes have increased. Now an important onus on us is to actually spend and then make sure how and where we spend it. The tendency to spend it on non-developmental activities may in the short term appear to be attractive but in longer run it doesn’t reap results,” Jaitley said while addressing the second conference of states’ finance secretaries.

“There is now an important national focus that larger expenditure must be done in the social sector.. into infrastructure creation, into rural areas..which have conventionally been found lacking in the past..and therefore we must focus on specific expenditure in those areas,” he said adding that though states have been given some additional fiscal space but they will have to learn to live and spend within means and stick to fiscal discipline.

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Jaitley even highlighted that ever since India has shown the tendency of spending more yet sticking to fiscal discipline, it has brought immediate results in terms of interest rates and credibility.
The Union Cabinet last week approved additional headroom to a maximum of 0.5 per cent over and above the normal fiscal deficit limit of 3 per cent in any given year to the states. Subject to fulfillment of conditions as specified in the Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC) recommendations, states will be given year-to-year flexibility for relaxing fiscal deficit beginning 2016-17.
States should have had no revenue deficit this year and in the preceding year. The states will be eligible for flexibility of 0.25 per cent over and above the fiscal deficit limit of 3 per cent of GSDP if their debt-GSDP ratio is
less than or equal to 25 per cent in the preceding year.
States will be further eligible for an additional borrowing limit of 0.25 per cent of GSDP this year if the interest payments are less than or equal to 10 per cent of the revenue receipts in the preceding year.
In line with recommendations of Fourteenth Finance Commission, the states’ share in Union taxes has risen sharply by 10 per cent since last year to 42 per cent.
Fiscal discipline of states is important in view of its corresponding impact on Centre’s borrowing space and thus, the country’s fiscal deficit. For instance, post October 2015, too many government securities were simultaneously off-loaded by the state governments to meet their normal borrowing requirements, resulting in higher yields on state development loans as compared to central government securities. Having learnt from this experience, the government has now proposed a better coordinated and more evenly spaced borrowing schedule over the financial year 2016-17.
According to RBI data, States borrowed a total of Rs.2.95 lakh crore last year, around 23 per cent higher than a year ago, while Centre’s gross borrowing stood at Rs 6 lakh crore in last fiscal.
The government has now realigned its focus on combined fiscal situation of both states and Centre. Finance secretary Ratan Watal said there is a need to stop looking at Centre and States separately. “We need to take a national view of the problem, and start looking at the general government deficits and the impact they have on the savings-investment equilibrium in our economy as well as internal and external balances.” He further added, “To grow in a sustainable manner we need to maintain a fine balance between crowding-in and crowding-out.”
The combined fiscal deficits of states and Centre have hovered over 9 per cent of GDP during 2001-02 and 2002-03, after which it saw a steady decline, falling to one of the lowest levels of 4 per cent in 2007-08. Subsequently, combined fiscal deficit of states and Centre has risen to around 7.2 per cent of GDP in 2012-13 and 6.8 per cent of GDP in 2013-14. In 2014-15, the fiscal deficit of states and Centre was estimated at 6.9 per cent of GDP, which declined to around 6.3 per cent of GDP in 2015-16.
- See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/business/economy/states-should-stick-to-fiscal-discipline-spend-on-infra-jaitley/#sthash.JamvWJbN.dpuf