Seeking to ensure that subsidies meant for India's poor do not find themselves in private pockets, the union government today expanded the terms of the Unique Identification Authority of India to include solutions for direct transfer of subsidies to the target population.
Nandan Nilekani, former co-chairman of leading information technology company Infosys Ltd, heads the UIDA!, which is working on a unique identification number for every Indian citizen, dubbed by the authority as Aadhaar.
The expanded terms of reference include detailed solution for direct transfer of subsidies to the intended beneficiaries via a 'payment bridge' that can transfer funds into any Aadhaar-enabled bank account on the basis of the unique number, according to a release from the ministry of finance today.
''It has been decided to extend the terms of reference to include an Aadhaar-enabled unified payment infrastructure,'' the statement from New Delhi said. It added that the Aadhar task force would be expected to a final report in three months. The authority has already submitted an interim report on 5 July.
One member each from the Reserve Bank of India, the Indian Banks Association, the National Informatics Centre, the Comptroller General of Accounts, and the National Payments Corporation of India have been added to the task force for the purpose.
The task force has also been asked to ''recommend architecture for e-banking and mobile phone banking through inter-operable business correspondents, and examine an alignment of current standards for devices that will be deployed by them,'' the brief added.