Gandhinagar, February 21: Gujarat became the first state to pass the Aadhaar Bill unanimously which will empower the state government to use Aadhaar number as the sole identifier for the delivery of various subsidies and benefits in an effective and targeted manner.
Notably, the Gujarat Assembly on Monday passed "The Gujarat Aadhaar Bill, 2017" in the absence of nearly 48 MLAs of the Congress who were suspended from the House by the Speaker for creating ruckus. Therefore the Aadhaar bill was unopposed and passed unanimously.
While presenting the bill, the deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel stated that linking the Aadhaar number with various schemes will help the government create a credible system to authenticate the identity of actual beneficiaries.
Patel further told the Assembly that the Central Aadhar Act, passed by the central government last year, empowers the state governments to introduce similar laws for targeted delivery of subsidies and benefits by linking Aadhaar number of each beneficiary.
"As of now, the Gujarat government provides various subsidies and financial assistance to the citizens under 119 schemes. We pay them using RTGS or through cheques. We have brought this bill for more accurate, targeted and efficient delivery of such disbursements using Aadhaar number," said Patel, who handles Finance portfolio.
He said while all the residents of Gujarat above 18 years have been issued Aadhaar cards, 85 percent citizens in the age group of 5 to 18 have been issued such cards having unique identification number.
Patel said direct delivery of benefits to the people of state will bring greater transparency and remove middlemen system which will reduce corruption in large scale. This bill will make sure that the benefits will be delivered to only genuine beneficiaries.
Apart from the Aadhaar Bill, the BJP government also tabled two other bills Gujarat Panchayats (Amendment) Bill and the Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development (Amendment) Bill were also passed unopposed.
The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016 was introduced by Minister of Finance, Arun Jaitley, in Lok Sabha on March 3, 2016. The Bill intends to provide for targeted delivery of subsidies and services to individuals residing in India by assigning them unique identity numbers, called Aadhaar numbers.