Congress leader Jairam Ramesh today asked the government to clear confusion surrounding Aadhar-linked bank accounts for direct transfer of subsidies under various schemes to beneficiaries.
Raising the issue while participating in a debate on the 2014-15 Budget in the Rajya Sabha, Ramesh said: "There is lot of confusion about Aadhar. ...Is government committed to use Aadhar to eliminate leakage of subsidies? We want clear statement."
About Rs 3.5 lakh crore money goes from exchequer to the individual beneficiary. Direct transfer of subsidies with use of Aadhar-linked bank accounts will eliminate leakages, thereby saving 22-25 per cent of money, he said.
As per official data, 73.71 crore Aadhaar enrolments have been done till mid-July.
Aadhar was one among several ssues that Ramesh raised during the debate.
For fiscal discipline, he suggested the government to relook at the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003 and the way fiscal deficit is calculated.
He also asked the government not to weaken the financial health of the Centre while implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Ramesh accused NDA government of giving an impression through allocation for several schemes in the Budget that the previous government has done nothing.
The allocation made for several schemes are ongoing initiatives announced by the UPA government, he said, citing examples of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Clean Ganga Programme and MNREGA.
Ramesh also took a dig at the Finance Minister on the issue of inheriting poor economy from the previous government.
He said "The Finance Minister says what could we do in Budget in 45 days and we have inherited bad economy. UPA when it took over had presented better Budget within 45 days."
The NDA government has inherited much better economy from the previous government although last two years were slow growth period, he said, adding NDA saw worst economic period between 2001 and 2003, while UPA government witnessed slowdown in economy for three years between 2008 and 2013.