Prime Minister chairs first meeting of UIDAI Council

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New Delhi, Aug 12 (ANI): The first meeting of the Prime Minister's Council of UID Authority of India took place at 7 Race Course Road under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Law Minister Dr. Veerappa Moily, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj C.P. Joshi, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibbal and Dy. Chairman, Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia were among those who participated in the meeting.

Cabinet Secretary and secretaries of various Ministries participated in the meeting as special invitees.

The Prime Minister in his opening remarks said that his Government attaches high priority to this project.

He said that lack of identity proof results in harassments and denial of services to the poor and marginalized. It also results in leakages in various programs of the Government, which seek to target the poor.

Dr. Singh said that providing identities to the poor and the marginalized will enhance their access to Government services, both at State level and Centre which will enable delivery of direct benefits to poor and under-served.

The Prime Minister emphasized the need for active participation of all the departments of government, both at the State and Central level so as to ensure the success of the project, which was both unique and challenging due to the sheer size and the numbers involved.

In his presentation Nandan Nilekani, Chairman of the UID Authority of India, spelt out the strategy for implementing the ambitious project to providing unique identities to the residents of India.

Nilekani outlined the benefits of the project to all the stakeholders especially the poor and marginalized section of the country in the areas of service delivery, the Government and the financial sector. He also emphasized the need for establishing a legal framework for the Authority in due course of time.

The Council endorsed "in principle" the draft strategy of implementation and also resolved to provide a legal framework to the UIDAI in the course of time. It also decided to make UIDAI as the apex authority to set standards in the demographic and biometric data in order to ensure inter-operability. (ANI)

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