New Delhi: A Parliamentary committee on Tuesday recommended reconsideration of a bill that seeks to grant statutory powers and status to Nandan Nilekani-headed national body for issuing identification numbers to all citizens.
It said that the National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010 in its present form is not acceptable to it.
"In view of... concerns and apprehensions about the Unique Identification (UID) scheme, particularly considering the contradictions and ambiguities within the government on its implementation as well as implications, the committee categorically convey their unacceptability of the National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010, in its present form," the panel headed BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said.
In its report on the National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010, tabled in Lok Sabha, the Parliamentary Standing on Finance said the data already collected by the
Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) may be transferred to the National Population Register (NPR), if the government so chooses.
"The committee would, thus, urge the government to reconsider and review the UID scheme as also the proposals contained in the Bill in all its ramifications and bring forth a fresh legislation before Parliament," it said.
It said that the clearance of the Ministry of Law and Justice for issuing UIDAI's 'Aadhaar' identity numbers, pending passage of the Bill by Parliament, on the ground that powers of the executive are co-extensive with the legislative power of the government does not satisfy it.
"The committee are surprised that while the country is on one hand facing a serious problem of illegal immigrants and infiltration from across the borders, the National
Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010, proposes to entitle every resident to obtain an Aadhaar number, apart from entitling such other category of individuals as may be notified from time to time.
"This will, they apprehend, make even illegal immigrants entitled for an Aadhaar number," the report said.
The UIDAI, headed by Nandan Nilekani, is functioning as an executive body under the Planning Commission.
The report said that the unique identification scheme is riddled with serious lacunae.
"The UID scheme has been conceptualised with no clarity of purpose and leaving many things to be sorted out during the course of its implementation; and is being implemented in a directionless way with a lot of confusion. The scheme which was initially meant for BPL families has been extended for all residents in India and to certain other persons," the committee said.
According to it, the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), constituted for the purpose of collating two schemes – the UID and the National Population Register (NPR) -- and to look into the methodology and specifying target for effective completion of the UID scheme failed to take concrete decision on important issues such as identifying the focused purpose of the resident identity database.