Saturday, March 5, 2011

142 - Opposition raises doubts over Unique ID project

PANAJI: The BJP on Wednesday raised doubts over the proposed Unique Identification project which aims to give a unique number to every resident of India.

The issue was debated over following a starred question by Mapusa BJP MLA Francis D'Souza to minister of planning, statistics and evaluation Digambar Kamat. Kamat assured the house that he would clarify the issues raised by the opposition with chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Nandan Nilekani.

Referring to the MoU between the Goa government and the UIDAI, D'Souza expressed concern over the fact that the civil supplies department staff would be designated as registrars to interact with residents of Goa and would be authorized to enroll residents into the UID system. Apparently doubting the competence of the staff of the civil supplies department, D'Souza asked how a serious project like the UID could be entrusted to them.

D'Souza also wanted to know whether the unique identification number would be given to all "residents" of India as stated in the MoU or only to citizens of India.

Joining in the debate, opposition leader Manohar Parrikar said that if the number is issued to all residents, it would indirectly confer citizenship and other related benefits to the people who the number is issued to. "That means even Dudu and Atala (alleged drug dealers) will get it. They are also residents," Parrikar said.

Parrikar stated that the definition of "resident" ought to be clarified because if outsiders are granted the UID in Goa, then the position of native Goans will be weakened.