NEW DELHI: Following the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Union Cabinet will convene a meeting on Friday to take a final decision on granting statutory powers to the Nandan Nilekani-led Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
The ambitious project was conceived with the aim of issuing identity cards(ID)to the country’s entire population instead of the mandated 200 million.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Prime Minister had meet senior members of his Cabinet to resolve the issue, amid the slugfest between the Planning Commission and the Home Ministry (MHA) over the project.
And those present at the meeting chaired by the Prime Minister included, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram, deputy chief of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekani and the National Security Adviser(NSA) Shivshankar Menon.
Ahluwalia later told reporters that the issue had been amicably resolved and that a resolution regarding this will be adopted at Friday’s Cabinet session.
“I think we have come to an agreement on how both the projects can proceed together without any difficulty. The Cabinet Committee on UIDAI was rescheduled and will take place on Friday. We are quite hopeful that we will have a resolution of these issues in that meeting,” he said.
According to Ahluwalia, the major challenge involved was to devise ways and means to prevent duplication.
He added that he would send a supplementary note to the Cabinet regarding this.
Official sources, meanwhile, pointed out that that the government has to take an early decision on the issue, as the UIDAI project was likely to be completed even before its scheduled March 31 deadline.