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#DestroyTheAadhaar
On 21-Aug, UDie announced that it had saved 90,000 crores. Intrigued by the magnitude of the savings, I decided to file an RTI request. This thread documents my journey into the labyrinth.
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
I posed the following 4 questions to UDie
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
UDie in its response stated that: (A) the details of the 90,000 crores were available on (B) the schemes are being administered by various departments / ministries and for questions 2-4 I should seek information from the relevant ministry
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
On visiting the DBT portal, I observed that there were significant savings under "Petroleum & Natural Gas", "Food & Public Distribution", "Rural Development" and "Others". Accordingly, I raised 4 separate RTI requests to each of these ministries / departments
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
Part 1 - The Department of Food and Public Distribution (DoF&PD) Excerpts of the response provided by DoF&PD are attached (PII has been edited out).
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
The reply is illuminating as it highlights several factors that could lead to savings apart from Aadhaar - (a) digitization of ration cards/beneficiary and other databases, (b) computerization of supply-chain management, (c) setting up of transparency portals; and ...
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
(d) … "apart from adoption of other means such as detection of in-eligible beneficiaries/families, transfer/migration of families, death(s), change in the economic status of the household (e.g. govt, job) etc" - none of (d) can be determined by Aadhaar
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @rozi_roti
The DoF&PD estimates a savings of 17,500 cr per annum. Contrast this with the schedule in the Union Budget 2018, which shows that subsides on Food grew from 1.10 lakh cr in FY 17 to 1.40 lakh cr in FY 18 (27%!!!) and will further increase to 1.69 lakh cr (21%!!!) FYI
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
Another illuminating aspect is the numbers cited by the DoF&PD for the state of Maharashtra. As per the DoF&PD, 21.6 lakh ration cards were deleted from 2013 - 2017 (with 0 bogus cards deleted in 2017!). Let us assume for a moment that all of this is due to Aadhaar.
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
As per the Govt of Maharashtra, Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Department, during the period 2005 - 2011, 54 lakh bogus ration cards were deleted. Source:
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
With no Aadhaar during the period 2005 - 2009, unlikely that the state of digitisation / computerisation of databases / records to have been better in 2005 - 2011 as compared to 2014 - 2017, still the Govt of Maharashtra identified more duplicates than the post Aadhaar period!
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
Doesn't the weight of the evidence lead one to believe that an alternate fully functional and effective mechanism to identifying bogus ration cards existed much before Aadhaar?
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
The DoF&PD did not respond to questions 3 and 4 raised by me. If 17,500 crores per annum (as they estimate) were being siphoned, surely someone needs to be held accountable?
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
Summary for the DoF&PD: (A) Alternate effective mechanisms existed for the identification of bogus ration cards (B) Maharashtra detected significantly larger bogus ration cards pre-Aadhaar than post Aadhaar (C) 17,500 crores p.a being siphoned but nobody caught and prosecuted.
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
Part 2 - The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoP&NG) The MoP&NG provided a response in 3 parts (excerpts below and PII has been edited out).
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
As the first part of it's response, the MoP&NG said that the information sought pertained to UDie and sent it back to UDie. In response to my very first query to UDie (see image), I was directed to the individual ministries. Now the ministry was directing me back to UDie.
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
In response to the MoP&NG redirection, UDie redirected the query back to the MoP&NG who in turn sent it again to the Public Information Officer of the 3 Oil Marketing Companies (OMC). (PII has been edited out) Journey so far from inception: UDie > MoP&NG > UDie > MoP&NG > OMC
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
The response of the 3 OMC is attached below (PII has been edited out). These are some of the things I find very interesting: 1. BPCL categorically refutes the words "fake, duplicate and ghost connections" - the very words used by UDie
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
2. BPCL states that it does not maintain information for question # 2 - savings through use of Aadhaar separately from other process improvements. This is critical - how is one to evaluate the usefulness of Aadhaar if there is no data available
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
3. HPCL and IOCL both respond that the query on "fakes, duplicate and ghost beneficiaries is not clear" - again disputing the very language used by UDie.
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
4. HPCL and IOCL highlight that electronic de-duplication was achieved on the basis of "name, address, mobile number, bank account number and due to deactivation in the system for not booking or availing LPG refill for more than 1 year."
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
Summary for the MoP&NG: 1. All 3 OMC either categorically dispute the existence of "fakes, duplicate and ghost beneficiaries" or feign ignorance about their existence. Thus their stand is contrary to that of UDie.
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
2. At least 2 of the OMC concede that there are alternative means to electronic de-duplication apart from Aadhaar. 3. None of the 3 OMC furnishes information on savings generated solely through the use of Aadhaar 4. No information on anyone prosecuted for cheating the govt
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
Does the evidence furnished by the OMCs allow one to conclude that Aadhaar was in any way responsible for generating 90,000 cr savings? If Aadhaar was so wonderful, how come the OMC are not able show a shred of evidence of its utility?
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
Again one must not forget the exhaustive audit report prepared by the CAG that conclusively demolishes the efficacy of Aadhaar in either de-duplicating intra - OMC / inter - OMC LPG customer database or generating any savings
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
Part 3 - The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) My query to the MoRD elicited the now familiar response - the query was transferred back to UDie
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
After 12 days, UDie transferred the query back to the MoRD Journey so far since inception (tweet 1 of this thread): UDie > MoRD > UDie > MoRD The MoRD the sent the request to 3 different CPIO
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
Within 10 days the CPIO of the Rural Housing Division (RHD) responded that it is concerned with implementation of rural housing schemes & the information sought is not maintained by it. Why would UDie / MoRD transfer the query to a department that did not generate the savings?
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
In November, I received a cryptic response (shown below) that "since the information sought falls within the jurisdiction of concerned State Government, hence, the same is transferred to Govt. of Maharashtra" No response was received from the third CPIO till date.
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
Summary for the MoRD: 1. Aadhaar is not used in rural housing schemes. 2. No details of the savings of 16,000 crores in MGNREGS provided till date
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#DestroyTheAadhaar 17 Nov 18
Replying to @Orionis57
Part 4 - Savings under "Other Schemes" The DBT portal shows savings under "Other Schemes" of 1,120 crores till FY 2017. Amazingly, this amount drops to a mere a 69 lakhs in FY 2018!!! UDie's response to my queries is attached below
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