President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to the Aadhaar law, which will empower the Centre to mandate that every Indian citizen procures the 12-digit unique identity number for accessing government services and benefits.
It could, however, take at least a month or two for the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act-2016 to come into force.
An official with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) told HT that the law would be implemented only after rules listing out the details of the enrolment process were issued, and key functionaries appointed. “Otherwise, we will have to stop issuing Aadhaar numbers... That would be a waste of time,” he said.
The UIDAI has already issued over 99.6 crore Aadhaar numbers, and is set to cross the one-billion mark by early April.
The government had moved the Aadhaar bill as a money bill in Parliament to ensure that the opposition’s majority in the Rajya Sabha did not stand in its way. A money bill only has to be passed in the Lok Sabha, and the Rajya Sabha’s views on it can be rejected.