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BJP, CPM say the UID system is not ready and is yet to be approved by the Parliament
           First Published: Wed, Nov 28 2012. Livemint.com
New Delhi: A day after the Congress party staked claim to the United Progressive Alliance government’s direct cash transfer programme that seeks to use the Aadhaar number, opposition parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, and activists on Wednesday criticized the move on the grounds that while such transfers will not reduce instances of corruption, the bid to use unique-identity number comes when a proposed law for it is yet to be approved by the government.
“Parliament has not yet passed the UID (unique identification) Bill, but sitting in the Congress office, they said that they will enforce UID,” Brinda Karat, politburo member of the CPM said, referring to a media briefing by finance minister P. Chidambaram and rural development minister Jairam Ramesh held on Monday. “The CPM demands that till the Bill is not debated in the Parliament, this linkage between UID and other schemes should not be made.”
Chidambaram said on Tuesday that the government would directly transfer benefits of 29 welfare schemes to the beneficiaries in 51 districts. While it would start with a pilot programme in January, the initiative will be extended to 18 states from April next year. Subsidies related to food and fertilizers are excluded from the initial list.
Speaking at the event on Tuesday, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said that while the move was “politically motivated”, the system was not yet ready for it.
“They (the government) are bringing a new word by saying cash transfer, but the framework for it is not yet ready, the scheme is not yet ready… We (the BJP) will raise this issue in Parliament,” he said.
Rights activists, too, criticized the move.
Aruna Roy, social activist and member of the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council that sets the government’s social agenda, said technology alone will not be able to reduce corruption. “Corruption is just an excuse,” she said, adding that the UID scheme should not be linked with other programmes.