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, June 28, 2017

11556 - What is the lowdown on linking of Aadhaar-PAN for taxes? - The Hindu




What is it?
The simple act of paying your income tax to the government — an article of citizens’ faith that is not exercised by enough Indians with incomes over ₹2.5 lakh a year if you go by India’s low direct tax base — will never be the same again. Having a PAN (permanent account number) card from the Income Tax department will no longer be enough to file your returns. Starting July 1, the government has made it mandatory for taxpayers to link their Aadhaar number to their PAN cards in order to be able to file returns. Aadhaar numbers have also been made mandatory for all those applying for a new PAN card after July 1.
How did it come about?
Among several changes appended to this year’s Finance Bill that did not figure in the budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley introduced a new Section, 139 AA, in the Income Tax Act of 1961. This new Section stipulates that all PAN cardholders share their Aadhar number with the tax authorities so that the two documents can be linked, and makes quoting of Aadhaar mandatory for all PAN card applications and to file income tax returns. Parliament approved the Bill in April, including the provision that Mr. Jaitley stressed was a measure to check tax evasion by those having multiple PAN cards. The new provision also states that the existing PAN cardholders who fail to link their Aadhaar numbers will have the legal status of their PAN card revoked and those cards will be held invalid for all other purposes. However, petitions were filed in the Supreme Court, challenging the move with the argument that it runs foul of the court’s earlier decision on Aadhaar-related petitions that the unique ID number cannot be made mandatory. The Supreme Court ruled on June 9 that the new provision does not violate the Constitution or its earlier order passed in 2013. For those holding Aadhaar numbers, the court said the provision would apply in totality but held that PAN cards of those who do not have Aadhaar number cannot be held as invalid “for the time being.”

Why does it matter?
PAN cards are mandatory not just for filing income tax returns, but also for deposits above ₹50,000 into bank accounts as well as purchasing property, among other things. The universe of taxpayers in India is smaller than the number of PAN cardholders. Aadhaar was introduced as a unique identification system that would pay off the government’s investment in capturing people’s biometric information by plugging leaks and benefit-cheating in welfare programmes for the poor through real-time authentication of the beneficiary’s identity. Most taxpayers, barring those earning up to ₹10 lakh a year who still get cheaper LPG cylinders, are not eligible for subsidies. Effectively, the Centre has managed to expand the ambit of Aadhaar beyond subsidy beneficiaries, thus making it a more universal identification system.
What Next?
If you don’t have an Aadhaar number yet, you could either fast-track your income tax returns and submit them before July 1 or enrol yourself for Aadhaar. For now, the government has said that even an Aadhaar enrolment number will suffice in order to file returns or apply for a PAN card. Those who already have an Aadhaar number must ensure they quote it in their returns as tax experts warn that any attempt to conceal the same would be tantamount to providing false information and invite prosecution under the income tax law, with punishment that could include imprisonment and fines. The Supreme Court may have offered limited relief to taxpayers, but the bigger battle over the Aadhaar programme will continue in its corridors as and when a Constitutional Bench is formed to examine Aadhaar-related concerns about right to privacy and human dignity as limbs of Article 21 of the Constitution.