After spending Rs 5500 crore, 77 crore Indians now have Aadhaar numbers

New Delhi(PTI): As many as 76.83 crore Aadhaar numbers have been generated as on February 15 and about Rs 5,512.18 crore has been spent until January this year on the project, government said.

“A total of 76.83 crore Aadhaars have been generated as on February 15, 2015, out of a total population of 121.01 crore (Census 2011),” Minister of State for Planning Rao Inderjit Singh said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

“The government has approved an outlay of Rs 13,663.22 crore for the period 2009-17, of which an expenditure of Rs 5,512.18 crore has been incurred as on 31 January 2015,” the minister said.

Aadhaar number generation is an on-going process which is voluntary in nature. Aadhaar is a proof of identity. However, it does not confer any rights, entitlements or privileges upon the Aadhaar holders in terms of any benefits or welfare of citizenship.

Various schemes run by government leverage Aadhaar numbers to provide beneficiaries of such programmes due entitlements.

Schemes under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) leveraging Aadhaar numbers are related with pension, education scholarship, women and child welfare, housing subsidy, LPG subsidy, fellowship programmes of recognised universities, the minister informed the house.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) was formed in January 2009 to issue Aadhaar numbers.

UIDAI was set up as an attached office of the Planning Commission, which is now replaced by NITI Aayog.

It is now proposed to be set up as a statutory authority by the name of National Identification Authority of India upon passage of the National Identification Authority of India, Bill 2010.

Replying to a separate question, Singh said the National Identification Authority of India Bill (NIDAI Bill), 2010 was introduced in Rajya Sabha in December 2010.

Notice to introduce official amendments were moved in the upper house in November 2013, subsequent to the report of Standing Committee on Finance.

“The Bill is pending consideration of Rajya Sabha, at present,” said the minister.

“The proposed Bill seeks to establish the National Identification Authority of India for the purpose of issuing Aadhaar numbers to residents of India and to certain other categories of individuals,” he added.