According to information, the UIDAI — popularly known as Aadhar, had sought Rs 6,734 crore from the government for the first phase of the scheme to provide 60 crore cards to as many people.
The cut in budget would lead to only issuance of 10 crore UID numbers impeding the original scheme envisaged by the second UPA government.
The expenditure finance committee has cut down the budget due to insufficient allocation of funds.
Officials refused to divulge the reason for cutting down the budget of the UID project which is designed to save thousands of crores by eliminating ghost beneficiaries of development schemes in the country.
It is being speculated that the recent proposal to earmark Rs 3,500 crore per year for Naxal-hit districts could have forced the Centre to cut the funds to this scheme.
A key segment of the UIDAI’s proposal — to give incentives worth Rs 3,200 crore for registering residents for the scheme — has been scrapped, the sources said.
In a recent meeting it was deliberated that the incentive to register should be withdrawn as most of the people would automatically go for the 12-digit UID once the government links it to several benefit schemes.
The UID would be very popular in rural and semi-urban areas as the UID holders would be beneficiaries of schemes such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and Public Distribution System, the planners felt.
DH News Service
*Budget slashed from Rs 7,000 crore to Rs 3,000 crore
*UIDAI had sought an allocation of Rs 6,374 crore for the first phase
*The amount would have gone towards providing 60 crore cards to as many people.
*Now, the cut in budget would mean only 10 crore UID numbers will be issued
*Incentives worth Rs 3,200 crore to get residents registered have been scrapped as well