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    Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech: Historic moment against black money in India

    By Agencies | Updated: Nov 09, 2016, 12.12 AM IST
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    Rs 500, Rs 1000 notes won't be legal tender from tonight: PM Modi
    Assembly Elections 2017:

    I hope you ended the festive season of Diwali with joy and new hope. Today, I will be speaking to you about some critical issues and important decisions.
    The University Grants Commission (UGC) also directed all varsities and higher education institutes across the country to observe the Digital India Week.

    Today I want to make a special request to all of you. You may recall the economic situation in May 2014 when you entrusted us with an onerous responsibility. In the context of BRICS, it was being said that the "I" in BRICS was shaky. Since then, we had two years of severe drought.
    Information Technology companies were told to organise a mandatory viewing of the speech to be delivered by PM Narendra Modi at the launch of the Digital India Initiative.

    Yet, in the last two and a half years with the support of 125 crore Indians, India has become the "bright spot" in the global economy. It is not just we who are saying this; it is being stated by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
    Besides, the latest move by the government to remove the two-factor authentication process for online transactions up to `2,000, will not help. Irrespective of the size of transaction, the absence of this additional layer of security will expose thousands to the risk of identity theft. Another weak link is the inadequate redressal mechanism. “With the poor redressal system in India, imagine what a poor rickshaw puller will do if he has his Aadhaar ID stolen?” asks Mumbaibased financial trainer P.V. Subramanyam.

    In this effort for development, our motto has been 'Sab Ka Saath Sab Ka Vikas': We are with all citizens and for development of all citizens. This Government is dedicated to the poor. It will remain dedicated to them.
    While there is no denying the convenience of card or mobile wallet transactions, it could open a spending trap for an unsuspecting population. According to behavioural finance theorists, the pain of parting with money is felt more acutely if you use physical cash instead of a card. Hence, using cash instead of cards or mobile wallet acts as a natural bulwark for people who find it difficult to control their spending. “This is the reason that people could end up overspending, throwing their budgets into a disarray,” says Pai.

    In our fight against poverty, our main thrust has been to empower the poor, and make them active participants in the benefits of economic progress.

    The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana,

    the Jan Suraksha Yojana,

    the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana for small enterprises,

    the Stand-up India programme for Dalits, Adivasis and Women,

    the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Scheme for gas connections in the homes of the poor,

    the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana to protect the income of farmers,

    the Soil Health Card Scheme to ensure the best possible yield from farmers' fields,

    and the e-NAM National Market Place scheme to ensure farmers get the right price for their produce

    —these are all reflections of this approach.

    In the past decades, the spectre of corruption and black money has grown.
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    It has weakened the effort to remove poverty. On the one hand, we are now No. 1 in the rate of economic growth. But on the other hand, we were ranked close to one hundred in the global corruption perceptions ranking two years back.
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    In spite of many steps taken, we have only been able to reach a ranking of seventy-six now. Of course, there is improvement. This shows the extent to which corruption and black money have spread their tentacles.
    Ration cards are an official document entitling the holder to a ration of food, Fuel, or other goods issued by the Government of India. They are primarily used when purchasing subsidized foodstuffs (wheat and rice) and fuel (LPG and kerosene). The cards have been used since World War II and their use continues in the 21st century. They are an important subsistence tool for the poor as it provides proof of identity and a connection with government databases. India's public distribution system (PDS) is based on the ration card, which it uses to establish identity, eligibility, and entitlement.

    The evil of corruption has been spread by certain sections of society for their selfish interest. They have ignored the poor and cornered benefits. Some people have misused their office for personal gain.
    Many problems with the PDS ration system exist. There are millions of ineligible and fraudulent ration cards; at the same time, millions of poor families have no ration card. PDS shop owners in collusion with government officials divert the subsidized food supply and petroleum to the black market. The number of cards is inflated by bogus ration cards held under false names, in the names of dead people, real but ineligible people, and duplicate names from other areas. The ration quota of non-existent people and unused quota by real beneficiaries is shown as fully used-up, and material is diverted to the black market, causing huge subsidy loss of public money.

    On the other hand, honest people have fought against this evil. Crores of common men and women have lived lives of integrity. We hear about poor auto-rickshaw drivers returning gold ornaments left in the vehicles to their rightful owners.
    Prior to Aadhaar, the issues that have been plaguing and derailing social security programs in India were caused by corrupt officials and middlemen manipulating the paper records and stand-alone databases of the social security services. Due to lack of a unique identifier like Aadhaar, stand-alone databases cannot detect and eliminate duplicate and fraudulent beneficiaries. The most common modus operandi adopted by these corrupt people have been to inflate the beneficiary list by 10 times by inserting duplicate entries, non-existent names, and the names of dead and non-eligible people. They then attempt to steal 90% of the social security benefits money, thus depriving genuine claimants.

    We hear about taxi drivers who take pains to locate the owners of cell phones left behind. We hear of vegetable vendors who return excess money given by customers.

    There comes a time in the history of a country's development when a need is felt for a strong and decisive step.
    In India, ration cards are voluntary; they are needed to obtain subsidized food and fuel. Eligibility for the Antyodaya, BPL and APL ration cards is based on the economic status of the family. To get an APL or BPL card in the state of Delhi, the applicant must present two copies of a photograph of the head of the family (HoF), proof of identity and address, and ₹25 fee, along with the old ration card, if any. Processing typically takes one month.

    For years, this country has felt that corruption, black money and terrorism are festering sores, holding us back in the race towards development.

    Terrorism is a frightening threat. So many have lost their lives because of it. But have you ever thought about how these terrorists get their money? Enemies from across the border run their operations using fake currency notes.
    Various financial and other services are being Aadhaar-enabled, called Aadhaar-enabled Service Delivery (AeSD), in a phased manner. By 1 January 2014, half of India (289 districts across various states) has been covered by DBT for subsidized LPG. By August 2013, 6.3 million duplicate connections of LPG were detected by Aadhaar seeding and have been cancelled. The national government saved $1 billion on reduced imports by mid-2013.

    This has been going on for years. Many times, those using fake five hundred and thousand rupee notes have been caught and many such notes have been seized.

    Brothers and sisters,

    On the one hand is the problem of terrorism; on the other is the challenge posed by corruption and black money.
    Finance Minister informed the Parliament during Vote on Account that as of 31 January 2014, under DBT ₹33 billion for 21 million LPG subsidy and ₹6.28 billion (628 crores) have been transferred for various social programs in 5.4 million transactions.

    We began our battle against corruption by setting up an SIT headed by a retired Supreme Court judge, immediately upon taking office. Since then

    • a law was passed in 2015 for disclosure of foreign black money;

    • agreements with many countries, including the USA, have been made to add provisions for sharing banking information;

    • a strict law has come into force from August 2016 to curb benami transactions, which are used to deploy black money earned through corruption;

    • a scheme was introduced for declaring black money after paying a stiff penalty;

    My dear countrymen,

    Through all these efforts, in the last two and a half years, we have brought into the open nearly 1 lakh 25 thousand crore rupees of black money belonging to the corrupt. Honest citizens want this fight against corruption, black money, benami property, terrorism and counterfeiting to continue.
    On 26 November 2012, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh launched an Aadhaar-linked direct benefit transfer scheme. The project aimed to eliminate leakages in the system by directly transferring the money to the bank account of the recipient. The project was to be introduced in 51 districts on 1 January 2013 and then slowly expanded to cover all of India.

    Which honest citizen would not be pained by reports of crores worth of currency notes stashed under the beds of government officers? Or by reports of cash found in gunny bags?

    The magnitude of cash in circulation is directly linked to the level of corruption.
    On 18 June 2015, in a high-level review meeting on the progress of the UID project and DBT scheme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the officials to accelerate the delivery of benefits and expand the applications of the Aadhaar (UID) platform. He also asked them to examine the possibility of incentivizing the states, through a one-time sharing of a portion of the savings. It was reported that the government was saving up to 14-15% in the direct benefit transfers of subsidies on LPG to the beneficiaries through Aadhaar.

    Inflation becomes worse through the deployment of cash earned in corrupt ways. The poor have to bear the brunt of this. It has a direct effect on the purchasing power of the poor and the middle class. You may yourself have experienced when buying land or a house, that apart from the amount paid by cheque, a large amount is demanded in cash.
    The PAHAL scheme has covered 118.9 million of the 145.4 million active LPG consumers till March, as stated by the Petroleum Minister in the Parliament. Thereby, the DBT has become a "game changer" for India, claimed the Chief Economic Adviser to the Finance Ministry, Government of India, Arvind Subramanian, for in case of LPG subsidy, DBT had resulted in a 24% reduction in the sale of subsidized LPG, as "ghost beneficiaries" had been excluded. The savings to the government were to the tune of ₹127 billion (US$1.9 billion) in 2014-15. The success of the modified scheme helped fuel marketing companies save almost ₹80 billion (US$1.2 billion) from November 2014 to June 2015, said oil company officials. The DBT for the public distribution system (PDS) will be rolled out in September 2015.

    This creates problems for an honest person in buying property. The misuse of cash has led to artificial increase in the cost of goods and services like houses, land, higher education, health care and so on.

    High circulation of cash also strengthens the hawala trade which is directly connected to black money and illegal trade in weapons.
    During the budget presentation on 29 February 2016, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that a bill will be introduced within a week to provide legislative support to the Aadhaar. On 3 March 2016, the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016 was introduced in the Parliament as a money bill by Jaitley. The decision to introduce it as a money bill was criticised by the opposition parties. Ghulam Nabi Azad, an INC leader, wrote in a letter to the Jaitley that the ruling party, BJP was attempting to bypass the Rajya Sabha, as they did not have the majority in the upper house. A money bill is only required to pass in the lower house Lok Sabha. Tathagata Satpathy of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) raised concerns that the project could be used for mass surveillance or ethnic cleansing in the future.

    Debate on the role of black money in elections has been going on for years.

    Brothers and sisters,

    To break the grip of corruption and black money, we have decided that the five hundred rupee and thousand rupee currency notes presently in use will no longer be legal tender from midnight tonight, that is 8th November 2016.
    In an August 2009 interview with the Tehelka, former chief of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Ajit Doval, said that it was originally intended to flush out illegal immigrants, but social security benefits were later added to avoid privacy concerns. In December 2011, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, led by Yashwant Sinha, rejected the National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010 and suggested modifications. It expressed objections to the issuing of Aadhaar numbers to illegal immigrants. The Committee said that the project was being implemented in an unplanned manner and by bypassing the Parliament.

    This means that these notes will not be acceptable for transactions from midnight onwards. The five hundred and thousand rupee notes hoarded by anti-national and anti-social elements will become just worthless pieces of paper.
    The UIDAI appealed in the Bombay High Court saying that accepting such a request would set precedent for several more such requests. The High Court rejected the argument and on 26 February 2014 in an interim order directed Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) to study technological capability of the database to see if it can solve such a crime. The UIDAI then appealed in the Supreme Court. It argued that the chance of a false positive was 0.057% and with 600 million people in its database it would result in hundreds of thousands of false results.

    The rights and the interests of honest, hard-working people will be fully protected. Let me assure you that notes of one hundred, fifty, twenty, ten, five, two and one rupee and all coins will remain legal tender and will not be affected.
    To incentivise the move towards a cashless economy, the government has come up with a rash of discounts and freebies on digital transactions. But will these be substantial enough and, along with other benefits, counter the higher risk of identity theft once the currency notes are back in circulation? What are the gains and drawbacks of financial digitisation? Here’s a look at what may be in store for you.

    This step will strengthen the hands of the common man in the fight against corruption, black money and fake currency. To minimise the difficulties of citizens in the coming days, several steps are being taken.

    1. Persons holding old notes of five hundred or one thousand rupees can deposit these notes in their bank or post office accounts from 10th November till close of banking hours on 30th December 2016 without any limit.
    Several events were held across 36 states and union territories, covering 600 districts in the country.

    2. Thus you will have 50 days to deposit your notes and there is no need for panic.

    3. Your money will remain yours. You need have no worry on this point.

    4. After depositing your money in your account, you can draw it when you need it.

    5. Keeping in mind the supply of new notes, in the first few days, there will be a limit of ten thousand rupees per day and twenty thousand rupees per week.
    In an order to create participative, transparent and responsive government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the much ambitious 'Digital India' programme on Wednesday, July 1, at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in the national capital.

    This limit will be increased in the coming days.

    6. Apart from depositing your notes in your bank account, another facility will also be there.

    7. For your immediate needs, you can go to any bank, head post office or sub post office, show your identity proof like Aadhaar card, voter card, ration card, passport, PAN card or other approved proofs, and exchange your old five hundred or thousand rupee notes for new notes.
    The written record will help you keep tabs on your spending and this will result in better budgeting. “Various apps and tools will help people analyse their spending patterns and throw up good insights over a couple of years,” says Jhaveri. Controlled spending could also result in higher investing. If the same amount of cash does not flow back into circulation and people continue to use mobile wallets and cards, it is also likely to bring down the latte factor. This means that the Rs 10 you spent on candy or chips, or that regular cup of coffee office is likely to take a hit since you will be short of loose change and smaller currency notes. There’s a lesser chance of budgetary leaks and unaccounted for spends sneaking into your budget at the end of the month.

    8. From 10th November till 24th November the limit for such exchange will be four thousand rupees. From 25th November till 30th December, the limit will be increased.

    9. There may be some who, for some reason, are not able to deposit their old five hundred or thousand rupee notes by 30th December 2016.
    The recent waiver of service tax on card transactions up to Rs 2,000 is one of the incentives provided by the government to promote digital transactions. This has been followed by a series of cuts and freebies. It’s a good time to increase your savings if you take advantage of these. For instance, 0.75% discount on digital purchase of fuel means that the petrol price in Delhi at Rs 63.47 per litre can be brought down to Rs 62.99/l with digital payment.

    10. They can go to specified offices of the Reserve Bank of India up to 31st March 2017 and deposit the notes after submitting a declaration form.

    11. On 9th November and in some places on 10th November also, ATMs will not work.
    If stolen, it is easy to block a credit card or mobile wallet remotely, but it’s impossible to get your cash back. “In that sense, the digital option offers limited security,” says Pai. This is especially true while travelling, especially abroad, where loss of cash can cause great inconvenience. Besides, if the futuristic cards evolve to use biometric ID (finger prints, eye scan, etc), it can be extremely difficult to copy, making it a very safe option.

    In the first few days, there will be a limit of two thousand rupees per day per card.

    12. This will be raised to four thousand rupees later.

    13. Five hundred and thousand rupee notes will not be legal tender from midnight.
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    However for humanitarian reasons, to reduce hardship to citizens, some special arrangements have been made for the first 72 hours, that is till midnight on 11th November.

    14. During this period, government hospitals will continue to accept five hundred and thousand rupee notes for payment.
    Under the original policy for liquified petroleum gas subsidies, the customers bought gas cylinders from retailers at subsidised prices, and the government compensated companies for their losses. Under the current Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG (DBTL), introduced in 2013, customers had to buy at the full price, and the subsidy would be then directly credited to their Aadhaar-linked bank accounts. This scheme, however, did not take off, as in September 2013, a Supreme Court order put a halt on it. Subsequently, GOI constituted a committee to review the "Direct Benefits Transfer for LPG Scheme" to study the shortcomings in the scheme and recommend changes. The DBTL scheme was modified later as PAHAL by the new government in November 2014. Under PAHAL, subsidies could be credited to one's bank account even if the one did not have an Aadhaar number. Official data show that cooking gas consumption during the January-June period grew at a slower 7.82%, nearly four percentage points less than 11.4% growth in the same period last year.

    15. This is for the benefit of those families whose members may be unwell.

    16. Pharmacies in government hospitals will also accept these notes for buying medicines with doctors' prescription.

    17. For 72 hours, till midnight on 11th November, railway ticket booking counters, ticket counters of government buses and airline ticket counters at airports will accept the old notes for purchase of tickets.
    In November 2014, it was reported the Ministry for External Affairs was considering making Aadhaar a mandatory requirement for passport holders. In February 2015, it was reported that people with Aadhaar number will get their passports issued within 10 days, as it allowed the verification process to be easier by checking if applicant had any criminal records in the National Crime Records Bureau database. In May 2015, it was announced that the Ministry of External Affairs was testing the linking of passports to the Aadhaar database.

    This is for the benefit of those who may be travelling at this time.

    18. For 72 hours, five hundred and thousand rupee notes will be accepted also at

    • Petrol, diesel and CNG gas stations authorised by public sector oil companies

    • Consumer co-operative stores authorised by State or Central Government

    • Milk booths authorised by State governments

    • Crematoria and burial grounds.
    In 1999 after the Kargil war, the Kargil Review Committee, headed by security analyst K. Subrahmanyam, was formed to study the state of national security. It submitted its report to the then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee on 7 January 2000. Among its various recommendations, was the proposal that citizens in villages in border region be issued identity cards on a priority basis, later such ID cards should be issued to all people living in border states.

    These outlets will have to keep proper records of stock and collections.

    19. Arrangements will be made at international airports for arriving and departing passengers who have five hundred or thousand rupee notes of not more than five thousand rupees, to exchange them for new notes or other legal tender.
    In December 2014, it was proposed by the Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi that Aadhaar should be made mandatory for men to create a profile on matrimonial websites, to prevent fake profiles. In July 2015, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) called a meeting of meeting of various matrimonial sites and other stakeholders discuss the use of Aadhaar to prevent fake profile and protect women from exploitation.

    20. Foreign tourists will be able to exchange foreign currency or old notes of not more than Rs 5000 into legal tender.

    21. One more thing I would like to mention, I want to stress that in this entire exercise, there is no restriction of any kind on non-cash payments by cheques, demand drafts, debit or credit cards and electronic fund transfer.
    Gajanan Khergamker in a commentary in Tehelka has argued that the Aadhaar threatens to legitimise the illegals living in the country. He said that frequently local bureaucrats and politicians give away documents like ration cards to illegal immigrants for political or personal gains. He pointed out that the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of US prohibits discrimination based on collected biomedical data, but India has no such safeguards for its citizens. He said the data being collected was worth fortunes and India was a "sitting duck" without proper protective legislation.

    Brothers and sisters,

    In spite of all these efforts there may be temporary hardships to be faced by honest citizens. Experience tells us that ordinary citizens are always ready to make sacrifices and face difficulties for the benefit of the nation.
    In late November 2012, a former Karnataka High Court judge, Justice K. S. Puttaswamy, and a lawyer, Parvesh Khanna, filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against the government in the Supreme Court of India. They had contended that government was implementing the project without any legislative backing. They pointed out that the National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010 which introduced in the Rajya Sabha was still pending. They said that since UIDAI was running on only an executive order issued on 28 January 2009, it cannot collect biometric data of citizens as it would be a violation of privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution.

    I see that spirit when a poor widow gives up her LPG subsidy, when a retired school teacher contributes his pension to the Swacch Bharat mission, when a poor Adivasi mother sells her goats to build a toilet, when a soldier contributes 57 thousand rupees to make his village clean.
    The following table shows financial size of the social security benefits/subsidies funded by the Union Government of India. The table does not cover other programs operated by State Governments. The social security benefits and subsidies offered by state governments is estimated to be above ₹600 billion (US$10 billion), making a total of ₹3,600 billion (US$60 billion) in subsides. The PDS-related subsidy for food is ₹1,250 (US$20.83); with subsisdes for kerosene and LPG the total is ₹600 billion (US$10 billion); approximately 60% of the total petroleum subsidy.

    I have seen that the ordinary citizen has the determination to do anything, if it will lead to the country's progress.

    So, in this fight against corruption, black money, fake notes and terrorism, in this movement for purifying our country, will our people not put up with difficulties for some days? I have full confidence that every citizen will stand up and participate in this 'mahayagna'.
    Aadhaar-enabled service delivery (AeSD) prevents corruption in retail by directly crediting the benefit money into the beneficiary's bank account; this is called Direct Benefit Transfer - DBT. It eliminates the middlemen, and fraudulant and ineligible beneficiaries. Aadhaar saves billions of rupees of public money annually and enables poor people to access social security benefits.

    My dear countrymen, after the festivity of Diwali, now join the nation and extend your hand in this Imandaari ka Utsav, this Pramanikta ka Parv, this celebration of integrity, this festival of credibility.
    When a beneficiary buys rations from a PDS shop, her or his eligibility is authenticated instantly through an Aadhaar KYC handheld device. The PDS computer system reads out the quantity eligibility and balance of each item in the local language. After purchase, the balance quantities for that month are read out. The buyer pays the open market rate to the PDS shop. A computer prints a receipt showing all items purchased, balance items, money paid and subsidy amount. The subsidy amount is credited to the beneficiary's bank account under the DBT program. Because the PDS computer system is connected to a central server, beneficiaries can buy ration items from any PDS shop. The system is flexible and provides access and options to the public that was not seen before in PDS.

    I am sure that all political parties, all governments, social services organizations, the media and indeed all sections of the society will take part in this with enthusiasm and make it a success.

    My dear countrymen,

    Secrecy was essential for this action.
    Fuel : 0.75% discount on digital purchase of fuel through credit/debit cards, e-wallets or mobile wallets.

    It is only now, as I speak to you, that various agencies like banks, post offices, railways, hospitals and others are being informed. The Reserve Bank, banks and post offices have to make many arrangements at very short notice.
    Insurance : 10% discount by government general insurers on premium paid online via their portals. 8% discount on new LIC policies bought online via its site. POS: Rs 100 a month is the maximum rent that PSU banks can charge for PoS terminals.

    Obviously, time will be needed. Therefore all banks will be closed to the public on 9th November. This may cause some hardship to you. I have full faith that banks and post offices will successfully carry out this great task of national importance.
    In March 2014, Nandan Nilekani resigned as the Chairman to contest in the general election on an Indian National Congress nomination from Bangalore South. His responsibilities taken over by 1981-batch IAS officer Vijay Madan, who was given an extension of his term as the director-general and mission director by the government. Nilekani lost to Ananth Kumar.

    However, I appeal to all of you to help the banks and post offices to meet this challenge with poise and determination.

    My dear citizens,

    From time to time, based on currency needs, the Reserve Bank with the approval of the Central Government brings out new notes of higher value.
    In October 2014, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology said that they were considering linking Aadhaar to SIM cards. In November 2014, the Department of Telecom asked all telecom operators to collect Aadhaar from all new applicants of SIM cards. On 4 March 2015, Aadhaar-linked SIM cards began to be sold in some cities in a pilot project. The purchase could activate the SIM at the time of purchase by submitting his Aadhaar number and pressing his fingerprints on a machine. It is part of the Digital India plan. The Digital India project aims to provide all government services to citizens electronically and is expected to be completed by 2018.

    In 2014, the Reserve Bank sent a recommendation for issue of five thousand and ten thousand rupee notes. After careful consideration, this was not accepted. Now as part of this exercise, RBI's recommendation to issue two thousand rupee notes has been accepted.
    Karnataka state only accepts online ration card applications under the e-governance initiative; the old, paper application system has become obsolete. Applicants must upload a scanned PDF copy of his/her proofs of identity, age, address, and income, and are acknowledged with an appointment. On the day of the appointment, the applicant, along with all members of the family, visit the ration registration office with originals of their uploaded documents for verification and biometric data collection, including photographs and fingerprints of all family members. Physical verification of the information is made at the home address, for example, LPG connection for kerosene eligibility, house type to determine income level for BPL card eligibility. The ration card for which the applicant is eligible is issued in one month by the district supply office (DSO). The status of applications can be checked online. All front-end work on registration, biometric data collection, and physical home verification is done by DSO-appointed private firms under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model for efficiency reasons.

    New notes of five hundred rupees and two thousand rupees, with completely new design will be introduced. Based on past experience, the Reserve Bank will hereafter make arrangements to limit the share of high denomination notes in the total currency in circulation.
    Aadhaar is a 12 digit unique-identity number issued to all Indian residents based on their biometric and demographic data. The data is collected by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), a statutory authority established on 12 July 2016 by the Government of India, under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, under the provisions of the Aadhaar Act 2016.

    In a country's history, there come moments when every person feels he too should be part of that moment, that he too should make his contribution to the country's progress. Such moments come but rarely. Now, we again have an opportunity where every citizen can join this mahayajna against the ills of corruption, black money and fake notes.
    In September 2013, the Delhi Development Authority accepted a complaint from the India Against Corruption activist group and cancelled a land allotment to UIDAI. The land was previously owned by BSNL, and MTNL had also laid claims on it. It was of an estimated ₹9 billion (US$130 million) value, but it had been allotted to UIDAI at a very cheap rate.

    The more help you give in this campaign, the more successful it will be.

    It has been a matter of concern for all of us that corruption and black money tend to be accepted as part of life. This type of thinking has afflicted our politics, our administration and our society like an infestation of termites. None of our public institutions is free from these termites.
    Aadhaar project has been linked to some public subsidy and unemployment benefit schemes like the domestic LPG scheme and MGNREGS. In these Direct Benefit Transfer schemes, the subsidy money is directly transferred to a bank account which is Aadhaar-linked.

    Time and again, I have seen that when the average citizen has to choose between accepting dishonesty and bearing inconvenience, they always choose to put up with inconvenience. They will not support dishonesty.
    The UIDAI was established on 28 January 2009 after the Planning Commission issued a notification. On 23 June 2009, Nandan Nilekani, the co-founder of Infosys, was appointed by the then government to head the project. He was given the newly created position of the Chairman of UIDAI which was equivalent to a Cabinet minister. In April 2010, the logo and the brand name Aadhaar was launched by Nilekani. In May 2010, Nilakani said he would support a legislation to protect the data held by the UIDAI.

    Once again, let me invite you to make your contribution to this grand sacrifice for cleansing our country, just as you cleaned up your surroundings during Diwali.

    Let us ignore the temporary hardship

    Let us join this festival of integrity and credibility

    Let us enable coming generations to live their lives with dignity

    Let us fight corruption and black money

    Let us enable law-abiding citizens to get their due share.
    On 2 February 2015, the Supreme Court asked the new government to clarify its stance on the project. This was in response to a new PIL filed by Mathew Thomas, a former army officer. Thomas had claimed that government was ignoring previous orders while pushing ahead with the project and that the project was unconstitutional as it allowed profiling of citizens. The government in a reply on 12 February said that it will continue the project. On 16 July 2015, the government requested the Supreme Court to revoke its order, saying that it intends to use Aadhaar for various services. On 21 July 2015, the Court noted that some states were insisting on Aadhaar for benefits despite its order.

    I am confident in the 125 crore people of India and I am sure country will get success.

    Thank you very much. Thanks a lot.


    Bharat Mata Ki Jai.
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