NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet on Tuesday deferred the decision on the proposal to give statutory powers to Nandan Nilekani-led Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to issue national identity cards to the entire population instead of the mandated 200 million.
Though the Cabinet committee was scheduled to take up the matter of national identity cards in Tuesday’s meeting, it could not discuss due to the absence of Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
Highly placed sources said that Cabinet preferred to discuss the matter on Wednesday, but deferred it for the time being due to the tussle between the Planning Commission and the Home Ministry over the unique identification number project.
The Cabinet may take up the issue in its next meeting. Sources said that the government had to take an early decision as the project is likely to be completed even before the deadline of March 31 this year.
Home Minister Chidambaram has sought clarity on the status on who will capture bio-metric data - Registrar General of India (RGI) or UIDAI.
Sources said that Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal is supporting the Home Ministry proposal to create a digital data base of the entire population which will be called the National Population Register (NPR).