The government's Aadhaar card scheme, which has enrolled more than 1 billion people, has helped the exchequer save about $9 billion by eliminating fraud in beneficiary lists, its architect Nandan Nilekani has said in Washington.
The system, launched by the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, has been "enthusiastically" supported by the current government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, said the 62-year-old non-executive chairman of Infosys -- India's second largest software services firm.
It has really been a bipartisan thing, Nilekani said while participating in a World Bank panel discussion on Digital Economy for Development on Thursday.
He said that it is easier for the developing countries to leapfrog by building a right digital infrastructure.
Aadhaar now has more than a billion people registered on its system, he said.
"It has also saved the government about $9 billion in fraud and wastage because by having that unique number you eliminate fakes and duplicates from your beneficiary and employee list," Nilekani said at the event on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
"We have about half a billion people who have connected their ID directly to a bank account. The government has transferred about $12 billion into bank accounts electronically in real time...