MAMALLAPURAM/THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia today rejected reports that they were locked in a turf war over the ambitious UIDAI project to give every Indian resident a unique ID number Aadhar.
Chidambaram also said the government was mulling incorporating Aadhar numbers in the future resident Identity cards of the National Population Register(NPR), which falls under the Home Ministry.
Ahluwalia said it would not matter if there is a "small overlap" between UIDAI's Aadhar project and NPR. UIDAI, headed by Nandan Nilekani, is under Planning Commission's ambit.
"There were some media reports about conflict between the Home Ministry and the UIDAI, but they are not true," Chidambaram said launching the distribution of smart cards under NPR for coastal villages in Tamil Nadu at Pattipulum village, near Mamallapuram, about 80 km from Chennai.
Chidambaram said Aadhar was a unique number while the smart card being issued under NPR would have comprehensive details.
"Aadhar is the unique identification number. NPR issues an identity card with all relevant information. The NPR card would get a special status if Aadhar number is incorporated," he said.
His comments came against the backdrop of reports of differences between the Home Ministry and the Planning Commission over carrying out the bio-metric collections for the ambitious Unique Identification Number project.
Ahluwalia while seeking to dispel the impression of sharp differences between Planning Commission and the Union Home Ministry over UIDAI project said it should be allowed to go ahead with steps taken to avoid overlap with the NPR.
The Planning Commission proposed to take a note to the Cabinet on this issue during its scheduled to meet on Wednesday, he said.
"If there is a small overlap (with NPR) that would not matter. There are many government programmes which do similar things and we don?t apply the principle that you should not have any overlap.
"We regard the Aadhar project as a very important national project that will enable much greater efficiency in the operation of a large number of government schemes", he told reporters in the Kerala Capital.