Aadhaar law likely to pass test of constitutionality: Jaitley

Elias Hubbard
September 13, 2017

Jaitley also spoke about the Aadhaar and said full potential of the unique identity card was not realized when it was brought in, it was an evolving idea then. Jaitley said these "Basic Banking Accounts" could get overdraft facility of Rs 5,000.

"The Supreme Court had highlighted certain restraints as per the provisions of Article 21 of the Constitution".

Jaitley further hit out at the criticism from the Opposition who said 77 per cent of the PMJDY accounts were zero balance and hence "ornamental".

India reached closer to achieving the goal of financial inclusion with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Wednesday saying that 30 crore bank accounts have been opened under Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana in the past two-and-a-half years.

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 goal of detection of crime or for the distribution of social benefits". "What the Aadhaar would be used for was not mentioned in the draft law", he said.

The finance minister said that over the period of three years, the number of zero-balance accounts had reduced from 77 per cent to 20 per cent and he said that when the direct benefit transfer is expanded, these accounts would become operational.

Almost 42% of households remained unbanked before the introduction of Jan Dhan Yojana, which aims to give every household access to banking facilities by offering them zero-balance accounts across all commercial banks. "So you have more accounts than families, adding to the pre-existing ones", he said.

"Almost 42% of Indian households before the scheme was launched were not under the banking system", the Union Finance Minister said. As on 7th August, 2017, total enrollment was 3.46 crore under the PMJJBY and 10.96 crore under PMSBY.

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