Aadhaar will be made mandatory to buy and sell property in India as the move will help reduce property disputes and litigation, a top government official said on Tuesday.
“This is to reduce litigations and property disputes that is quite common. But the use of biometric will reduce such problems,” Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) said.
“We will soon make Aadhaar mandatory for sale and purchase of property… The thumb impression will curb fraud and litigation in real estate,” Pandey added. His comments come at a time when there’s much speculation about government wanting to link land records with Aadhaar.
Last month, a letter, purportedly, from the government, asking people to link their property with their Aadhaar numbers, had gone viral on social media and on WhatsApp. However, the government had issued a clarification stating that the letter was fake.
Over the past six-seven months, the Narendra Modi-led government has made Aadhaar compulsory for a number of things — from getting subsidies on gas connections and ration to MNREGA payments. Then it was linked to PAN cards and discussion is on to put it to use at airports.
Pandey added that Aadhaar is an integral component of Digital India, and helps reduce leakages. For example, ration (foodgrains on subsidy) is now allotted to beneficiaries only after verification of fingerprints, ensuring there is no duplication and that the ration is going to the right person.
This move, however, has received a lot of criticism from anti-Aadhaar activists and NGOs who claim that ration has been denied to many as fingerprints don’t match in many cases.
Also read: Unable to verify fingerprints, leprosy patients denied ration in Haryana CM’s constituency
Meanwhile, there a lot of questions have been raised over the government’s seriousness about ensuring safety of citizens’ privacy and data.
“Jab garibo ko koi dikkat nahi hai, yaha Dilli mein logon ko dikkat kyon ho rahi hai (when the poor don’t have a problem, why do the people in Delhi have a problem),” said Ravi Shankar Prasad, minister of law and justice, and information technology.
“Every day, two crore authentications are done. Some people are jealous of Aadhaar’s success… We have saved Rs 50,000 crore. This money was gobbled up by middlemen,” said Prasad.
The Indian government’s claim of having saved nearly Rs 50,000 crores has been questioned by many. To quote from a December 2016 article in The Economic and Political Weekly: The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) of the PAHAL – Direct Benefits Transfer for LPG (DBTL) scheme concludes that more than 90% of decline in subsidies can be accounted for by the fall of crude prices and only Rs 1,763 crore out of the total reduction of Rs 23,316 crore was due to reduced offtake of cylinders by consumers. “To be certain about the level of impact and “phenomenal success” of DBTL and to extend it to other spheres, more research and analysis is needed, along with a transparency in data and methods used,” the article said.
“Jab garibo ko koi dikkat nahi hai, yaha Dilli mein logon ko dikkat kyon ho rahi hai (when the poor don’t have a problem, what’s the problem with the people in Delhi)” — Ravi Shankar Prasad, minister of information technology