About two years after the allotment of the first set of Aadhaar numbers in September 2010, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is slated to announce the national launch of a payment system based on these numbers. The function is at Jaipur on Saturday, with United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi present. PM Manmohan Singh and Congress party president Sonia Gandhi will visit Dudu on October 20 to launch integration of UID numbers (Aadhaar) along with government-run flagship programmes. During the visit, Singh and Gandhi will also felicitate nine IAS officers from different parts of the country for their commendable work in the Aadhaar cards. A senior government official in the know of the preparations told Business Standard the PM would also hand over the 210 millionth Aadhaar number.
According to the official, the major focus will be the linking of government schemes with the Aadhar’s unique identity numbers. Encouraged with the results received in the pilot projects of direct cash subsidy to the beneficiaries, the government is now integrating five of its schemes with the Aadhaar card system. Aadhaar numbers are intended to ensure correct identification of beneficiaries and reduce duplication of records and leakages that mar delivery of subsidies like fertilizers, oil and food, that together account for around Rs 2.5 lakh crore. The PM has already outlined a national architecture for Aadhaar-based payments. The government expects with the enrollment expansion and creation of the national system, it would spread speedily. On the occasion, the prime minister will hand out the Aadhaar card number 21 crore. The person has not been identified so far but whosoever the number will be called on the event.