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No cut in budget, says UIDA
Published on 11 Jul. 2010 11:12 PM IST
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Officials at the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) have denied reports of a more than 50 per cent cut in their budget. According to reports, the finance ministry has cut down UIDAI’s budget to Rs 3,000 crore from Rs 7,000 crore. UIDAI officials said the body had been granted Rs 3,000 crore and it had received an in-principle approval for the rest, Rs 4,000 crore, from the ministry. However, the authority said this was an issue of the finance ministry. An official, on condition of anonymity, told Business Standard the Rs 3,000-crore grant would be used to pay the enrolling agencies.
UIDAI — which intends to issue 600 million Aadhaars, or unique identification (UID) numbers that will identify the 1.2 billion residents of the country on the basis of their biometrics, in the next four-and-a-half years beginning this August.
“We will issue 100 million unique numbers initially just to start the programme. However, the finance ministry’s concern is with the fact that though the Registrar General of India (RGI) is collecting demographic and biometric data, we wanted to collect these data from places where RGI can’t reach. Moreover, we can’t only rely on RGI.” the official said.
RGI will submit a report to the government and the first Aadhaar is expected to be issued only in 2011. UIDAI intends to issue the first set of 16-digit unique numbers between August 2010 and February 2011. Another point of contention is the authority’s proposal to pay Rs 100 to every poor person who registers his name with it.

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