Govt begins Aadhaar rescue after SC rap | Business Standard

Govt begins Aadhaar rescue after SC rap | Business Standard

Online comments posted on September 25, 2013:

M Damodaran observed in the preface to his report on Regulatory Reforms  for improving Business Environment in India(Damodaran Committee report submitted on September 2, 2013) that “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!” Of course, he was refering to the concerns relating to raising economic growth which created an impression that everything in the business environment seems to be a candidate for reforms. The Aadhaar story read with the two other legislative efforts relating to SC ruling preventing convicted lawmakers from contesting polls and the ten year exercise on NPS, gives an impression that political leadership will go ahead with its agenda using the power to legislate(hammer, as every objection is a nail!), irrespective of the advice from judiciary and executive. No one would have had any objection, had the legislative process been democratic and transparent. In these three cases(NPS, AADHAAR and convicted lawmakers), the processes have been reversed and legislation has been following implementation of political agenda. Briefly, the flaws in implementation were:
NPS: New Pension Scheme(now rechristened as National Pension System) was made applicable ‘prospectively’ for new employees joining service from January 1, 2004 without examining the adequacy or strength of the new scheme to replace the existing pension scheme. As existing workforce was not affected, protests were feeble. Legal legitimacy for the scheme is on the way almost after 10 years of implementation.
AADHAAR: AADHAAR was made mandatory for various purposes, even before UID had any legal backing to issue AADHAAR cards and even before such cards were issued to the clientele which was dependent on these cards for receiving benefits. Even today, majority of the AADHAAR card holders (estimated at one-third of the population) may belong to those lucky who are above the internationally accepted poverty line of per day expenditure of $2 and the real challenge for UID will be reaching out to the remaining 800 million people.
Convicted lawmakers: The efforts should have been to expedite cases and proving innocence/guilt faster. This observation is applicable to pending election cases also.

M G Warrier, Mumbai


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