Finance minister P Chidambaram on Monday said that 57 crore unique numbers have been issued under the Aadhaar scheme and that the government is fully committed to implementing it.
"Let me reiterate that the government remains fully committed to Aadhaar, under which 57 crore unique numbers have been issued so far, and to opening bank accounts for all Aadhaar holders in order to promote financial inclusion," Chidambaram said in his speech presenting the interim budget to the Lok Sabha.
Addressing the critics of the unique identity number, Chidambaram said: "Who needs Aadhaar? It is those who are at the bottom of the pyramid, the poor, the migrant workers, the homeless, and the oppressed who need Aadhaar, and we will ensure that they get Aadhaar."
Read: Budget, interim budget: what you should know about FM's speech
"I have no doubt that in course of time even critics of Aadhaar will realise that Aadhaar is a tool of empowerment."
The finance minister pointed out that under the direct benefit transfer scheme, money is being transferred to beneficiaries under 27 identified schemes, including the national social assistance programme (NSAP).
Chidambaram added that Rs.3,370 crore has been transferred to 2.1 crore LPG (liquified petroleum gas) cylinder beneficiaries.
Read: Highlights of P Chidambaram's interim budget 2014
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