New Delhi: The UIDAI's Aadhaar project for providing unique identity numbers to residents, has huge potential to improve the delivery of social sector schemes like rural employment guarantee, the Economic Survey 2011-12 said.
   
"Aadhaar has huge potential for improving operations and delivery of services," the survey said, The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), attached to the Planning Commission, is engaged in providing residents in the country a Unique Identification number (called Aadhaar) linked to the resident's demographic and biometric information.
   
The project aims to create a platform that serves as an identification infrastructure for delivery of public and private services to the residents of India.
   
The survey suggested that the incorporation of the Aadhaar into the rural employment guarantee scheme will assist in addressing some of the major challenges like payment of wages and ghost beneficiaries.
   
It observed that Aadhaar can replace the need to provide supporting documentation for the standard Know Your Customer (KYC) drills, making opening of a bank account significantly simpler.
   
Besides, once each citizen in a job card needs to provide his UID before claiming employment, the potential for ghost or fictitious beneficiaries in this regard is eliminated.
    
The survey further pointed out that by using Aadhaar, it is possible to have the subsidy go directly to the target households who can then purchase their food items from any Public Distribution Store or may be even non-PDS shops.

It also proposes to use Aadhaar for creating a database of enrollments in the educational institution and those affected by diseases. This could help government to address the issue relating to health and education in a proper manner.
    
The Task Force on Aaadhar-Enabled Unified Payment Infrastructure, headed by UIDAI-Chairman Nandan Nilekani has recently recommended that over a period of time, all payments of government over the sum of Rs 1,000 be made or received electronically.
    
In its report submitted to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee last month, it has called for hiring 10 lakh business correspondents to facilitate banking and financial services in rural areas that do not have access to fully fledged banking services.
   
So far pilot projects on Aadhaar-enabled e-payment system are being carried out in the areas of LPG, kerosene, MGNREGS and fertilisers.
    
Currently, a pilot project is also on to make payment for MGNREGA in Jharkhand besides a LPG distribution in Mysore (Karnataka) and opening of bank accounts in Tumkur (Karnataka).
    
One pilot project for mobile verification in Hyderabad is also proposed.

(Agencies)