States can Now Use Aadhaar Data for their Schemes

The Union Cabinet approved changes to the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill 2019 on Wednesday, to incorporate a clause that will allow the use of Aadhaar data for state schemes and subsidies. The amendment is via a new section, 5A, inserted into the Act. India’s national biometric ID can now be used by state governments for schemes that are funded through the ‘Consolidated Fund of the State’.

“The states had demanded (this). As per a Supreme Court order, Aadhaar is allowed where the funds are going for beneficiary schemes coming straight from the central government. It will enable the use... the way subsidies to the central schemes are transferred from the central fund, Aadhaar can be used for transferring state subsidies,” Prakash Javadekar, Ministry for Information and Broadcasting, said during a press briefing. Earlier this month, Parliament had approved amendments to the Aadhaar Act to allow voluntary use of the 12-digit unique number as ID proof for obtaining mobile phone SIM cards and opening bank accounts. The government also inserted a new clause allowing the use of Aadhaar data by states for implementation of their schemes.

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