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    UIDAI: Plan panel, Home Ministry reach compromise

    New Delhi: Planning Commission and Home Ministry appeared to have reached a compromise on the UIADI project over which the two were at loggerheads over the security angle. The understanding over the issue of providing unique identity numbers to residents seems to have been reached at a meeting of senior Cabinet colleagues called by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Wednesday.

    "I think we have come to an agreement on how both the projects can proceed together without any difficulty ... the Cabinet Committee (on UIDAI) was rescheduled and will happen on Friday. We are quite hopeful that we will have a resolution of these issues in that meeting," Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said here after the meeting.

    Besides Ahluwalia, the meeting was attended by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram, UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekani and National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon.

    "We are moving towards a very satisfactory conclusion. There were different views ... We reviewed different issues," Ahluwalia said, adding that the Home Ministry's National Population Register (NPR) project for constructing digital database of residents could continue along with UIDAI.

    "I think that there is an agreement that both the projects can move ahead and ways can be found that will avoid avoidable duplication. That was the key issue. I will sent the supplementary note (to Cabinet)", he added.

    At the centre of the controversy is the collection of bio-metric data of all residents.

    While the Home Ministry has maintained that the Registrar General of India (RGI) under it has been mandated to collect the data through the NPR, the Nandan Nilekani-led UIDAI has also been authorised to gather the information.