India should take steps to ensure privacy in biometric identification programmes: IMFApril 12, 2018 23:13
The International Monetary Fund today said India should take necessary measures to ensure privacy and security controls while implementing large identification programmes like the Aadhar, as the global financial body identified India as a leader in the biometric identification system.
The International Monetary Fund in its fiscal monitor report on digital government said digitalisation can facilitate stronger governance and fiscal transparency, allowing better public awareness and scrutiny of the budget process and the design of fiscal policy.
In India, the IMF said, biometric identification and electronic payments have helped reduce leakages in LPG subsidies.
"Depending on assumptions and how the reduction in leakage is expressed that is, the reduction in total transfers or wrongful payments estimated savings from digitalisation range between 0.2 and 21 per cent of cash transfers and 11 to 24 per cent of wrongful payments, it said.
"It is difficult to disentangle the effect of digitalisation from broader macroeconomic and policy developments, the IMF said.
For example, the use of Aadhar in the LPG subsidy scheme coincided with the termination of the LPG dual pricing system and the reduction in the world price of natural gas, both of which helped reduce the cost of LPG subsidies.
Data limitations and lack of proper assessment frameworks constrain ex-post evaluations, the report said.
"With more than 1.2 billion registered citizens in India's biometric identification system, Aadhar, the country stands out as a leader in this area," the report said.
The IMF, however, stressed that governments should take necessary steps to ensure privacy and security controls when implementing large identification programmes.
"In India, privacy and security concerns led to alternating periods of mandatory and non-mandatory use of Aadhar in social programmes, it said. -- PTI