Manmohan discusses UID tangle with ministers

Manmohan discusses UID tangle with ministers

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday held a meeting with his senior cabinet colleagues to find a way to resolve the issues pertaining to the Unique Identification (UID) number.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) chairman Nandan Nilekani and National Security Advisor (NSA) Shivshankar Menon attended the meeting.

The meeting was preliminary in nature. During the discussion Nilekani was learnt to have sought the governmentpermission to continue the enrolment to cover the entire population of the country. The prime minister will chair a meeting of the Cabinet committee on UIDAI on Friday (January 27) to take a final call  on the issue.

At present, the government has allowed the UIDAI to enrol by capturing biometric details of up to 20 crore citizens by 2012 March end. However, the UIDAI has already enrolled over 17 crore citizens. The prime minister is expected to take a final call on whether to allow the UIDAI to continue to enrol over and above the 20 crore or ask it to stop further enrolment.

“I think we have come to an agreement on how both the projects can proceed together without any difficulty... the Cabinet Committee (on UIDAI) was rescheduled and will happen on Friday. We are quite hopeful that we will have a resolution of these issues in that meeting,” Ahluwalia told reporters here after the meeting.

He also added that in the Wednesday’s informal meeting there was an agreement that both the projects could move ahead and ways could be found to avoid avoidable duplication. He said his ministry would send a supplementary note at the Friday’s meeting.

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