Telangana plans own Aadhaar Act

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The Maharashtra and Gujarat governments have passed their own Aadhaar Acts.

Hyderabad: After the Land Acquisition Act, the state government is all set to bring its own version of the Aadhaar Act, making the card mandatory to avail government services and schemes.

The state version of the Act aims to give legislative backing to the Aadhaar number issued by the UIDAI. The Act was necessitated as the state government has made Aadhaar mandatory to access government services, benefits and schemes; this is being challenged in courts.

The state government has decided to introduce stringent norms over the Central Act to make Aadhaar usage foolproof, encourage Aadhaar-based payments and ensure that benefits reach only the eligible groups. The TS Act is expected to make it mandatory for Aadhaar card holders to undergo “authentication or furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number”, unlike the Central Act.

The Maharashtra and Gujarat governments have passed their own Aadhaar Acts.

The TS government runs over 100 welfare schemes spending Rs 30,000 crore per year. Of this, it is estimated that 25 per cent, or about Rs 7,500 crore, goes waste with ineligible persons claiming the benefits and leakages.

Formalities to take 2-3 months
“We are examining the Acts passed by the Gujarat and Maharashtra governme-nts. We are also examining the possibility of inc-orporating a few more stringent norms to ensure that there is no scope for any irregularity in the government delivery mechanism,” said a source in the finance department.

He said finance minister Etela Rajendar had a meeting with senior officials on the issue and asked them to expedite the drafting of the Bill.

The chances of introducing the Aadhaar Bill in the ensuing Budget session in March looks remote; officials say it may take two-three months to complete the formalities.

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