Rajya Sabha passes Finance Bill, 2017 with Five Amendments

The Rajya Sabha, today passed the Finance Bill with five amendments.The Lok Sabha, last week had given assent to the Bill with some major amendments.

While replying to the debate on amendment, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley strongly defended the government’s endeavour to make Aadhaar compulsory for access to various benefits. He said that it was necessary to check frauds, including tax evasion. While talking about Aadhaar, he admitted that it was a “great initiative” of the previous UPA government and said the NDA dispensation is expanding it.

Responding to repeated questions by the members as to why Aadhaar was being made mandatory, he countered by asking why this technology should not be utilised since it was created for public benefit.

Congress leader P Chidamabaram asked whether the government could give guarantee that the Aadhaar details would not be leaked through hacking. To this, the Finance Minister said while hacking could not be ruled out, the firewalls should be made stronger.

“If the firewalls can be broken and hacking can take place, the hacking can take place anywhere,” he said, adding “Hacking does not take place because of Aadhaar” and referred to such an incident that took place at the Pentagon in the US.