Aadhaar saves Rs 90,000 cr per yr to exchequer: Jaitley

Aadhaar saves Rs 90,000 cr per yr to exchequer: Jaitley

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addresses a press conference on Cabinet decisions, in New Delhi, on Wednesday. PTI

Terming the Supreme Court verdict upholding the constitutional validity of Aadhaar as a “historic judgement”, the Centre on Wednesday said that with targeted delivery of government schemes, the Aadhaar saves the exchequer Rs 90,000 crore every year.

Briefing reporters after a Cabinet meeting, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also launched a scathing attack on the critics of Aadhaar saying they “cannot defy technology”.

On Congress' criticism of Aadhaar being a tool of oppression and surveillance, Jaitley said, “the Congress cuts a very sorry figure here, they had introduced the idea but they did not know what to do with it”.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra while withholding Aadhaar as constitutionally valid, struck down its linking with bank accounts, mobile phones and school admissions. Aadhaar will, however, be mandatory for filing of IT returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN).

“There are now 122 crore people in India who have Aadhaar cards and our estimation is that by identifying beneficiaries of government schemes and ensuring that there are no fake or duplicate or non-existent beneficiaries, we are already saving Rs 90,000 crore every year,” Jaitley said.

“The Supreme Court’s verdict on Aadhaar is a victory of good governance, empowerment of ordinary people and the efficient delivery of public services to the people of India,” Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.