Govt welcomes SC order on Aadhar: It will help use 'technology to improve governance'


New Delhi, The government on Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court verdict upholding the constitutional validity of the law on Aadhar and said the ruling is a "great step forward" for the use of technology in governance. "...It's a great step forward for the use of technology in governance. I am sure it will continue to be of great benefit to the society," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters here. "It's an extremely welcome decision," Finance Minister said adding "by identifying beneficiaries of government schemes and ensuring that there are no fake or duplicate or non existent beneficiaries, (by means of Aadhar system) we are already saving Rs 90,000 crore every year". He said about 122 crore people in the country have Aadhar cards.Mr Jaitley said the Aadhar mechanism can help the government to serve the poor people better."In no field, can we afford to be a technology laggard," he said and maintained that Aadhar has been used and will be used as a technology tool to improve governance. Criticising Congress party's stance, Mr Jaitley said: "You have people who are advocating" to keep the country technologically backward and pointed out how the principal opposition party has transformed itself from a supporter of Aadhar concept as its "opponents". He said the opposition party's stance seems to suggest that 'duplication' and 'impersonification' should continue."....they are opposition digital economy....prefer cash, you can well see the thread which is running through this thinking process," the Minister said. Mr Jaitley recorded his appreciation for Nandan Nilekani, who had played a pivotal role in pushing the idea for Aadhar during the Congress-led UPA regime. Law and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the judgement will have far reaching impact and it is a verdict of "empowering democracy". Mr Jaitley criticised Congress for putting 'legal weight' behind the move to oppose Aadhar and said rather sarcastically - "the weight proved to be light weight" - the statement is seen in context of senior Congress leaders like Kapil Sibal.