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

Saturday, November 12, 2016

10520 - Lots of elbow room for Jaitley’s next Budget - Hindu Businessline


All in all, given the good macro-economic signals, Jaitley will still have elbow room for a tax cut. A fiscal stimulus will work much much better than a monetary one.

October 7, 2016:  
The income declaration scheme (IDS) received declarations of ₹65,000 crore, which, taxed @ 45 per cent, yielded an additional ₹29,000 crore in tax revenue. Telecom spectrum auctions have so far fetched ₹63,000 crore in revenue. It would have been far higher if TRAI had set an affordable base rate for spectrum in the popular 700 MHz, which nobody bid for. Since the idea of an open auction is to gauge a fair market value on competitive bidding, setting an unaffordably high base price defies logic.

Favourable pointers
Arun Jaitley thus, has plenty of elbow room to give us a Budget in February, that would further propel the economy. Other macro-economic parameters are also helping. The current account deficit in Q2 has fallen to $300 million (0.1 per cent of GDP) from $6.1 billion (1.2 per cent of GDP) in Q2 last year, thanks mainly to low crude oil prices. Combine this with the foreign portfolio investment inflows of ₹20,000 crore in September, an 11-month high, and the elbow room on the foreign exchange front also widens.

The extra revenue will be supplemented by savings in subsidies, which were a leaky sieve, after direct benefit transfer.

Rate cut
The benefits of Aadhaar card are just starting to manifest themselves. Using Aadhaar identification, Reliance Jio, for example, is able to induct a customer in just two minutes! Millions of citizens, so far excluded from the economic mainstream, for want of an identity, will now participate in it.

The new RBI Governor has done his bit by reducing interest rates by 0.25 per cent. This reduction must be taken with some caveats. First, as Usha Thorat, a former Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, points out, in BusinessLine dated October 6, it discourages savers. Whether it helps consumers is to be seen; so far only two banks have cut interest rates, by far less than the 25 basis points cut by the RBI.

So, the FM has plenty of room to, for example, reduce tax rates, if he wishes. Part of the extra revenue would, doubtless, go for higher defence spending, necessitated by a belligerent neighbour. The FM needs to ask himself why the IDS did not collect more than ₹65,000 crore, by itself a commendable figure, but lower, as a per cent of GDP, than the previous one.

Agri under tax net
Part of the answer is that black money has an official laundry to become white. This is ‘agriculture income’ which is completely tax-free. There is no distinction made, as there should be, between the small, struggling farmers, who should be given tax concessions, for struggling in the fields to feed us, and those who misuse this provision to convert their black money into white. The CAG is examining this.

As these columns have suggested, it would be a good idea to grant a higher exemption limit to small farmers (say, ₹25 lakh instead of ₹2.5 lakh for others) and then tax anyone earning more. That stops blatant misuse of this provision without hurting small farmers (vote banks).

A lot of money will have to go into skill development. A study by the World Bank feels that 69 per cent of jobs in India are under threat from automation.
All in all, given the good macro-economic signals, Jaitley will still have elbow room for a tax cut. A fiscal stimulus will work much much better than a monetary one.

×