Countrymen will start getting the sophisticated unique identity cards from within the next 18 months with the government on Monday allocating Rs 120 crore for the purpose in the general budget.
Announcing this, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the first set of unique identity numbers would be rolled out in 12 to 18 months.
"A provision of Rs 120 crore has been proposed for this project," Mukherjee said during his budget in the Lok Sabha.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), set up recently by the government, will establish an online databse with identity and biometric details of Indian residents and provide enrolment and verification services across the country.
Mukherjee said the setting of the UIDAI was a "major step in improving the governance with regard to delivery of public services.
The Finance Minister also expressed his happiness that the project also marks the beginning of an era where a top private sector talent, Nandan Nilekani of Infosys, steps forward to take the responsibility for implementing the projects of vital national importance.