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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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

10963 - Aadhaar for PAN and tax return filing: Challenges for foreigners and Indian citizens abroad - Business Today



Suresh Kumar   New Delhi     Last Updated: March 31, 2017  | 15:24 IST

Aadhaar is a unique identification number issued by the Indian government to every individual resident of India. It is based on demographic and biometric data of the individual and thus no duplicate number can be issued to the same individual.

Proposal to make Aadhaar mandatory for PAN and tax return filing
As a part of efforts to make the financial system more transparent and to curb the menace of black money, the Finance Minister has proposed changes to the Finance Bill,2017, whereby Aadhaar (Aadhaar number / Enrolment ID) would be mandatory, effective July 1 2017, for filing income tax returns and for application for PAN. This will be applicable to every person eligible to obtain Aadhaar. Exclusion for specified categories will be notified.






Additionally, all persons who are allotted PAN as on  July 1, 2017, and eligible for Aadhaar number, would need to intimate their Aadhaar number to such authority in the form and manner as may be prescribed, on or before a date to be notified. PAN issued earlier will become invalid if a person fails to intimate his /her Aadhaar number within the prescribed time limit.

Who is eligible for Aadhaar enrolment?
As per the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, every resident is eligible to obtain an Aadhaar number by submitting his/her demographic and biometric information as part of the enrolment process. The central government may notify other categories of individuals who may be entitled to obtain an Aadhaar number.
Further, a 'resident' is defined to mean an individual who has resided in India for 182 days or more in aggregate in 12-month period immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment.

As Aadhaar enrolment is based on residency rather than citizenship, foreign nationals meeting the test of resident as defined above, will be eligible to obtain Aadhaar.

Likely challenges for foreign nationals
Documentation requirement for enrolling for Aadhaar
There is a list of documents that can be accepted as proof of identity and proof of address at the time of enrolling. While a passport would suffice as a proof of identity, there could be challenges with the documentation for proof of address. While there are35 different documents prescribed for address proof, foreign nationals working in India may qualify for limited documents such as an Indian bank account statement, credit card statement and landline telephone bill or rental agreement. Many foreign nationals do not have bank accounts in India or live in employer-provided accommodations.

Sharing biometrics details
Foreign nationals could also have concerns in sharing their biometrics details with the government.

Likely challenges for Indian citizens abroad
As the person has to be present in India for submitting biometric information, Indian citizens who are overseas, may face challenges in providing biometric details for enrolling for Aadhaar.
Employers could also be challenged with TDS compliance for Indian employees working abroad and on India payroll where the employee's PAN becomes invalid due to non-intimation of Aadhaar within the prescribed time.

Indian citizens qualifying for Aadhaar but yet to apply, may be unable to file their tax return in time. As a consequence, they may be exposed to additional interest, fee and penalty. Also, they may not be eligible to carry forward capital loss.

Expectation from the government
Considering the underlying objective of linking Aadhaar with PAN and the challenges especially for foreign nationals, should they be excluded from this additional requirement?

Alternatively, detailed guidelines specifying categories of foreign nationals requiring Aadhaar with relaxed timeframe should be prescribed to address the sentiments of foreign nationals in India. Further, the government should consider providing wider alternatives towards address proof such as Residential Permit.
There should also be provision of suitable options overseas for Aadhaar enrolment / relaxed time frame for Indian citizens living / working abroad.

Hopefully, these challenges would be appropriately considered by the government and necessary changes in the regulation / procedure be made available before the proposed deadline of July 1, 2017.

The author is Director and Pallavi Dhamecha is Manager with Deloitte Haskins and Sells LLP