Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Thursday told the state Assembly that his government will convene a meeting with banks and financial institutions to seek clarity on "conflicting directions" issued by different Central Ministries on Aadhaar.
The Chief Minister was replying to a query raised by opposition Hills State Peoples Democratic Party (HSPDP) MLA Ardent M Basaiawmoit, who urged the state government to direct banks to stop issuing circulars forcing people to link their bank accounts with Aadhaar. "I will have a meeting convened by the chief secretary with the bankers and financial agencies," Sangma told the Assembly on the last day of the three-day winter session here.
He said the meeting is aimed at settling down conflicting correspondences from the Reserve Bank of India and other government agencies with regards to aadhaar database linkages. Stating that even he is "confused" on aadhaar, the chief minister said, "There is no concrete decision being passed on to the state governments," assuring the House that the government will soon seek clarity from the Centre.
The Chief Minister also maintained that the Centre should consider not making aadhaar mandatory until such time the National Population Register is in place. "Without it (NPR), how will we know that aadhaar exercise does not go beyond Indian citizens," he said. "Aadhaar should not be made mandatory in Meghalaya otherwise it would lead to complication for a state that is dealing with issue of illegal immigration," he said.
Maintaining that aadhaar will not be adopted in Meghalaya, the chief minister said, "In respect of state government programmes, there will be no aadhaar seeded beneficiary data based required. Therefore, we will request the Centre that the same be adopted for central schemes implemented in Meghalaya." "As of now, only Centrally sponsored schemes insist on aadhaar linked beneficiaries. It is not mandatory but voluntary keeping in mind that there are students studying outside the state," he said.
Informing that there is 6.02 lakh people enrolled with aadhaar in the state at present, he said "If aadhaar is not issued to such students they will not be eligible for entrance examinations and also for scholarships.” Earlier, Opposition members demanded the state government to issue directions to all departments to refrain from pushing people to enroll for aadhaar.