Aadhaar law likely to pass test of constitutionality: Jaitley


"Aadhar has been an important leap forward for India and now we have begun to understand its potential", Jaitley said. "While there was a draft law related to management, the use of it was not clear", Jaitley said while delivering the keynote address at the Conclave on Financial Inclusion organised by the United Nations in India.

In addition to financial inclusion, the minister said, "The government has taken steps to provide security to the poor via life insurance under the Pradhan Mantra Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and accident insurance Pradhan Mantra Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY)".

"In September 2014, three months after the scheme was launched, 76.81 per cent accounts had zero balance". The number of zero-balance accounts has now come down to 20% of the total.

Referring to the right to privacy judgement, he said "Some of the illustrative restraints of the Article 21 that could be imposed are in the larger interest of the society, or for the objective of detection of crime or for the distribution of social benefits".

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He further added that the number of zero-balance accounts has reduced from 77% to 20% and even these would become operational once the direct benefit transfer is expanded. He said that post demonetization, there is emphasis to reduce overall quantum of cash in the economy.

"Its only in 2014, when we launched the PMJDY, in a mission mode throughout the country with the help of banks", he said.

Speaking on the occasion UN Resident Coordinator Yuri Afanasiev said it was a remarkable achievement that around 92% Indians had Aadhar card. "The (Aadhaar) legislation has been passed and I am sure it will stand the test of constitutionality", he said.

It was with the help of the staff who went from home to home to encourage households to open bank accounts, that this feat of 300 million PMJDY accounts was reached. "State resources must be targeted to those most in need", he said.