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Arun Jaitley Quotes Aadhaar As A Gamechanger, Says Over Rs 90,000 Crore Saved With Its Help

HARSH RANJAN | 2
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| January 6 , 2019 , 18:29 IST

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley termed Addhaar as a "Game changer" on Sunday. He appreciated PM Modi's move and said savings made through its implementation can fund three public welfare schemes of the magnitude of Ayushman Bharat -- the ambitious healthcare programme to provide free hospitalisation to millions of poor people.

He said it was only a decisive Prime Minister Narendra Modi who decided to go ahead with the idea of Aadhaar after the formation of the NDA government in May 2014.

He also attributed the successful implementation of Aadhaar to the decisive leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the Congress-led UPA remained "half-hearted" towards it because of its own contradictions and indecision.

Jaitley said aadhaar played a very significant role in the delivery of subsidies.

It has helped saved Rs. 90,000 crore in the last few years till March 2018 by eliminating several duplicates, non-existent and fake beneficiaries.

He also stated that the Digital Dividend Report prepared by the World Bank estimates that India can save Rs.77,000 crore every year by the use of Aadhaar.

"The savings through Aadhaar can fund three schemes of the size of Ayushman Bharat...Aadhaar is a game changer," Jaitley added.

Criticising UPA the finance minister said, "Instead of taking credit for it, Congress lawyers challenged it in Court and appeared as the anti-technology, anti-Aadhaar faces. A decisive Prime Minister made it possible."

The total amount of subsidy transferred through Aadhaar now equals Rs. 1,69,868 crore.

Jaitley also mentioned the benefits of aadhaar in banking, he said "With the elimination of middlemen the benefits go directly to the bank accounts. This is a unique technology implemented only in India. The monies saved through Aadhaar is money fruitfully employed for the poor elsewhere."

He said 22.80 crores PAHAL and Ujjwala beneficiaries are given cooking gas subsidies through direct benefit transfer (DBT) in their Aadhaar-linked bank accounts.

Jaitley further said 58.24 crore ration card holders stand linked and 10.33 crore MGNREGA cardholders get wage payment through DBT in their bank accounts. So do the 1.93 crore beneficiaries of the national social assistance programme.

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The Income Tax Department has already linked 21 crore PAN card holders with their Aadhaar numbers.

A total of 2,579 crore authentications have been undertaken to date. Every day, 2.7 crore authentications are done. UIDAI has the capacity of 10 crore transactions to be authenticated per day.