Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said Aadhaar has helped the Centre in saving Rs 90,000 crore every year with targeted delivery of government schemes. Jaitley also described the Supreme Court judgment on Aadhaar "historic".
A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra held that Aadhaar is constitutionally valid but struck down some of its provisions, including its linking with bank accounts, mobile phone connections and school admissions.The Supreme Court judgment kept the provision of Aadhaar mandatory for filing of IT returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN).
"It is a historic judgment and the whole concept of unique identity number that has been accepted after judicial review is an extremely welcome decision.
"There are now 122 crore people in India who have Aadhaar cards and our estimation is that by identifying beneficiaries of government schemes and ensuring that there are no fake or duplicate or non-existent beneficiaries, we are already saving Rs 90,000 crore every year," Jaitley said.
Jaitley also slammed the Congress for failing to implement the “Aadhaar idea” properly. “The Congress cuts a very sorry figure here, they had introduced the idea but they did not know what to do with it,” Jaitley said.
“Everyone who has been criticising Aadhaar should understand that they cannot defy technology. Mainstream should accept changes, one can understand the fringe being against,” the finance minister added.
(With PTI inputs)