Government To Come Up With Aadhaar-Like ID For Businesses
The 12-digit identification number that we call Aadhaar has been a subject of contention for far too long. While people against its linkage with government programmers and banking accounts opine that it impinges on an individual’s privacy. The petitioners challenging Aadhaar argue that the scheme, which requires the parting of biometric and personal details, is a coercive step and a stark violation of the ordinary citizen’s fundamental right to privacy.
The UIDAI has clarified that the biometric system stores no private information of the individual or his/her family.
Despite the ongoing debate, Aadhaar is the most trusted ID and widely held unique identification system in India which has the facility of authentication online and offline anytime, anywhere. Aadhaar has empowered 1.19 billion Indians with a credible identity.
With an aim to crack down on shell companies and companies dealing illegally, the government is mulling the idea of setting up a 12-digit identification card for businesses as well, an Aadhaar for business card.
Noting that every enterprise, be it large or small, also “needs a unique ID”, finance minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech, said the government will evolve “a scheme to assign every individual enterprise in India a unique ID”.
As many as 119 crore biometric identifiers has been issued by the UIDAI so far. The Aadhaar card has become mandatory to avail government and government services.
The government has also made it compulsory to link Aadhaar with PAN card and bank accounts, the last for which remains 31st March.
Numerous PILs have been filed in the Supreme Court to counter the government’s ruling but as of now, the date remains.
In addition, the UIDAI recently announced a new concept of ‘Virtual ID’ which Aadhaar-card holder can generate from its website and give for various purposes, including SIM verification, instead of sharing the actual 12-digit biometric ID. The soon-to-be-introduced Virtual ID, a random 16-digit number, will give the users the option of not sharing their Aadhaar number at the time of authentication.
The Aadhaar for business proposal is currently under furnishing and could be a build-up of the ministry’s existing Udyog Aadhaar project for micro, small and medium enterprises.
The Udyog Aadhaar project was launched by the MSME ministry in September. More than 4.1 million enterprises across the nation have acquired an Udyog Aadhaar number.