Officials at the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) have denied the report published on Saturday that the finance ministry has cut its budget by more than half. According to the reports, the finance ministry has cut down UIDAI's budget to Rs3,000 crore from Rs7,000 crore.
Officials of the UIDAI said the body had been granted Rs3,000 crore and it had received an in-principle approval for the remaining Rs4,000 crore.
However, they said this was an issue of the finance ministry. An official, on condition of anonymity, told Business Standard the Rs3,000-crore grant would be used to pay the enrolling agencies.
The UIDAI aims to issue 600 million Aadhaars, or unique identification (UID) numbers in the next four and a half years beginning this August. The numbers will eventually reach all the 1.2 billion residents of the country, identifying them on the basis of their biometrics. But the authority will issue only 100 million unique numbers during this financial year.
''We will issue 100 million unique numbers initially just to start the programme. However, the finance ministry's concern is with the fact that though the Registrar General of India (RGI) is collecting demographic and biometric data, we want to collect these data from places where RGI can't reach.
Moreover, we can't only rely on RGI. The ministry says that we shouldn't be collecting this data as it will lead to duplication,'' the official said.