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Come clear on Adhar Cards, APCC tells Dispur

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  23 Jun 2017 12:00 AM GMT

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, June 22: The Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) wants the BJP Government at Dispur to make its stand on the issuance of Aadhar Cards clear.

Addressing the press at Rajiv Bhawan in the city today, senior APCC spokesperson and MLA Abdul Khaleque and senior spokesperson Bobbeeta Sharma said that the government should come clear on its stand on Adhar Cards as the Central Government had made it mandatory from July 1, 2017 for tax payers to link their Aadhar numbers to their PAN Cards in order to be able to file returns. “Union Fince Minister Arun Jaitley has introduced a new Section 139 AA in the Income Tax Act of 1961 which makes it mandatory to link Aadhar number to PAN CARDS. The new provision also states that the existing PAN card holders who fail to link their Aadhar numbers will have their PAN Cards revoked and those cards will be invalid for all. It is also mandatory for opening any bank accounts and to link the Aadhar number with bank accounts by December 31, 2017. It is also mandatory to quote Aadhar number in case of transactions worth Rs 50,000 and more. If a person doesn’t have an Aadhar number at the time of opening an account then he has to furnish proof of application of enrolment for Aadhar to the bank within six months of opening the account,” they said.

The two senior APCC spokespersons further said: “The Central Government has also issued a directive to telecom operators in the country asking them to reverify all phone numbers with Aadhar and if they are found to be not linked to Aadhar by February 2018 then they will be deactivated. This apart, as a pilot project the process of giving Aadhar cards was started in the urban areas of the three districts of gaon, Sonitpur and Golaghat. But it was stopped as it was sought to be done after update of NRC all over Assam so that no illegal immigrants can get Aadhar card and avail government benefits. However, the NRC update process has been extremely slow under the BJP Government in the state and till now it has failed many deadlines. The latest deadline is December 2017. Till now there are only 7 per cent had Aadhar cards in Assam as on May 15, 2017.”

Sharma and Khalque also said in May 2017, State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary had informed the State Assembly that the Government would restart the process of giving Aadhar cards in the state and that there was no need to wait for completion of NRC update since Aadhar is not proof of citizenship. “However, the question is how will they stop any ‘illegal or fake ‘ enrolment of Aadhar card as to get an Aadhar card there is a list of 29 documents which will make it very easy for anyone to get an Aadhar card?” the two APCC leaders questioned.

As per the Aadhar Act, 2017, the biometric information collected and stored in electronic form in accordance with this Act and regulations made thereunder shall be deemed to be ‘electronic record’ and ‘sensitive persol data or information ...’ “This gives rise to grave security and privacy concerns,” they said, and added: “There has been a major change between an earlier draft of the Act (the tiol Identification Authority of India Bill 2010) and the fil Aadhar Act. In the earlier version authentication was with a positive and negative response of ‘YES’ or ‘No’ along with the Aadhar number, finger prints or iris scan whichever the system requires. In the Aadhar Act, authentication can be done by a requesting agency (who is willing to pay a fees) by asking for any identity information, including photograph except core biometrics information. Moreover ‘the authority may engage one or more entities to establish and maintain the Central Identities Data Repository and to perform any other functions as may be specifies by regulations. This raises questions on the security of data that will be entrusted with ‘one or more entities’ other than the government.”

The APCC said that before coming to power in 2014, UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) or Aadhar card was vehemently criticized by the BJP and it was alleged that ‘it violates the constitutiol right to privacy’. “The BJP has questioned the Aadhar scheme and argued that it should not be given to those who do not have bo fide papers and citizenship. It has alleged that several illegal migrants have got Aadhar cards. Prime Minister rendra Modi was also a severe critic of Aadhar. He had publicly said that it would give infiltrators a chance to reside in India and it would undermine the safety and security of our country.”

“We demand to know from the government whether proper training of those responsible for Aadhar authentication has been planned or started, and when will the Aadhar enrolment be completed in Assam?” Khaleque and Sharma said.

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