Friday, December 16, 2011

India UID: Seven Questions. Six Old, One New

Reasons why the Standing Committee on Finance rejected the UIDAI Bill (Economic Times)
In perhaps its most serious setback so far, a Parliamentary Committee has rejected the Bill that governs the project to assign unique Ids to all Indians. Worse, this Standing Committee on Finance has advised the government to "reconsider and review the UID scheme" itself. Its report was placed in Parliament on Tuesday. These, then, are its seven primary objections.
The objections take the form of questions:

Why was the UIDAI functioning even before the Bill was passed?
♦ It did not work in the UK. so, why here?
♦ Will it ensure welfare payments reach the targeted beneficiaries?
♦ What about privacy?
♦ Is the uid project financially feasible?
♦ Is the uid project technically feasible?
♦ Should cards be given to citizens or residents?

The first question is the only one that is novel, but alas, I'm not close enough to Indian politics to offer a good answer.

From the article's comments...
Rakesh P Mittal (New Delhi)
We must understand that no scheme is perfect but that does not mean that it should be put into a dustbin. Our existing schemes are full of leakages. So, by that argument all of them should be scrapped including MNREGA, subsidised LPG and subsidised Kerosene. Is Parliament functioning as per the vision of constitution makers ? Judicial system is creaking and its performance and delivery is nowhere close to what is required. Therefore by Sinha's theory, all of them should be scrapped ? The intention of the UID scheme is to eliminate the middlemen between the benefits and the intended beneficiaries. That will definitely be achieved by the UID scheme. To avoid creation of fictitious beneficiaries, we should have stringent punishments for those found indulging in misuse. Also we need a simple and effective machinery to implement it. Country expects Sinha to be a responsible and fair leader. If our leaders carry on like this then all of us and our future generations are doomed forever.
Perfect, good, etc.