Court-monitored probe sought into DBT of LPG subsidies

Court-monitored probe sought into DBT of LPG subsidies

Aadhaar enrolment to continue in the state, UIDAI sources

Consumer rights activists have sought a court-monitored investigation into the amount of pilferages that have occurred when the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of LPG subsidies was in place in various parts of the country.

This follows the order of the Supreme Court to withdraw notifications, which had made Aadhaar card mandatory to avail benefits, under social welfare and other schemes.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, V L Somashekar of Grahaka Shakthi said, the Aadhaar-based DBT was imposed on the people, without proper research on its effects on the people. 

While it was claimed that implementing Aadhaar-based DBT would plug the misuse of subsidies to the tune of Rs 30,000 crore, a thorough investigation into how the DBT prevented it, must be done, he said.

Moreover, a larger inquiry on why Aadhaar was implemented without studying the pros and cons must also be conducted, he said.

“When Aadhaar, generated by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), is not mandatory, what is the use of continuing enrolment?” he questioned.

Even though the recent order has only reiterated the interim order, several other petitions, including privacy issues and data security remain to be taken up, which will provide a better picture regarding the fate of Aadhaar and UIDAI, he said.

Enrolment to continue

However, UIDAI sources said, Aadhaar enrolment would continue across the country. “The Supreme Court, in its order, has not prevented UIDAI from collecting bio-metric data from people or generating of Aadhaar numbers,” the source said.

“DBT is taken up by the departments concerned and the UIDAI has no role, apart from generating Aadhaar numbers,” the source added.

Responding to a question on data security, the source said, there are several security features that prevent unauthorised access, by encrypting bio-metric data collected.

Four companies

In Mysore district, four agencies had collected data, during three phases of enrolment since 2010. They are Nine Star Technologies, Karvy Data Management Services Limited, Tomat Techno Private Ltd and Srveen Information Company Ltd.

UIDAI has collected bio-metric data of more than 29 lakh people in Mysore district. With the roll-back of DBT of LPG subsidies, the number of beneficiaries in the district is now less than a lakh, the source added.

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