Malaysia to adopt India’s Aadhaar model for providing targeted subsidies

According to a report, Malaysia is contemplating the adoption of an Aadhaar-like model for its national identity card system to directly benefit the delivery of various policies and government subsidies. The Malaysian government also believes it would help to put a stop on the wrongdoers, who illegitimately gain from government schemes.

India had offered to collaborate with Malaysia on the programmes India developed, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Kuala Lumpur in May. It primarily focused on the Aadhaar initiative, discussed Malaysia’s Minister of Human Resources M Kula Segaran.

“We met UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) CEO, Ajay Bhushan Pandey… We have identity cards (known as MyKad), but with the (introduction of an Aadhaar-like) system, the primary aim is to avoid duplicity of payments and fraud and to target specific groups,” Kula Segaran said, who led the delegation to Malaysian Cabinet agreed upon to collaborate with India and explore the features of UIDAI led Aadhaar card System. The delegation comprised of the officials of Malaysia’s central bank, economic affairs ministry, finance and human resources ministry.

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Kula Segaran responded in positive about the delegation’s exploring on possibilities to link the unique identity card system to the bank accounts, which would directly affect the pace of delivery of welfare schemes and benefits.

When asked about privacy concerns that can invoke strong opposition from the people across Malaysia, Segaran replied that the identity cards with personal information cards are already used for decades in Malaysia and therefore would not face problems on such grounds.  He also cleared that Malaysia would be working to adopt a “workable” format from India’s Aadhaar Card System.

Target delivery of welfare schemes has become a primary concern of the present government in Malaysia, as the government sends cheques or delivers cash to the targeted people. While discussing, the government’s efforts at making the subsidies cashless, he added that Aadhaar based system can resolve the issue with health implications.

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