In the first significant allocation for roll out of the unique identity number, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has earmarked Rs 1,900 crore for the Nandan Nilekani-headed Unique Identification Authority of India (UIAI).
The project envisages assigning a unique identification number to each resident and eliminate the need for multiple identification mechanisms. The authority — set up last year — had an allocation of Rs 120 crore in the current fiscal.
With the authority set to move into the “operational mode” this year, Mukherjee said he proposed to raise the outlay to Rs 1,900 crore.
The first number is expected to be issued well before December.
But this will be the easy part. More troublesome would be meeting the target of providing 600 million unique IDs in the next five years and ramping up numbers beyond this level.
It is in this context that the authority plans to provide incentive to registration, by opening a bank account. This would make more people come forward to register themselves.
Officials said the strong authentication of the unique number would eliminate duplication under various schemes and save the government Rs 20,000 crore every year.