Central government has decided to provide a statutory status to Aadhaar. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced about this during his budget speech at parliament. Government has to say that subsidy benefits reaches directly to needy people through Aadhaar. Jaitley said, “Along with passing of bill, we will make important improvements so that after legal status, all types of government benefits reach directly to the people”.
Till now 98 crore Aadhaar numbers have been issued. Everyday 26 lakh biometric and 1.5 lakh e-KYC are processed. Aadhaar number has been linked with 11.19 crore direct benefit transfer accounts while total number of its beneficiaries is 16.5 crore. The bill is currently pending in Rajya Sabha.
The program of providing legal status to Aadhaar is not new. Ever since its inception, Aadhaar has been seriously criticized and challenged in the court. Previous UPA government was also keen to provide legal cover to this program. Aadhaar started facing problems when it was made mandatory for availing benefits of various government schemes or services like LPG subsidy, MGNREGA wages, Property Registration, etc. Supreme Court in its order has also iterated several times that Aadhaar cannot be made a compulsory tool for getting government benefits. The bill to provide legal status to Aadhaar is already pending in Supreme Court.