“It will give a big push to farmers, unorganised sectors and others. It can make them part of the banking system by promoting financial inclusion,” said the Infosys co-founder and the man who set up the Unique Identification Authority of India or (UIDAI) that had launched the biometric-based Aadhar cards under the previous UPA prime minister Manmohan Singh.
The optimism for greater financial inclusion is based on statistics: 100 crore Aadhar cards and 24 crore Jan Dhan bank accounts launched by the Modi government in one of the biggest pushes to open a bank account for every Indian citizen.
“We already have National Payments Corporation of India (NCPI) to which I am also an advisor, this move will definitely help,” Nilekani said.
He also argued that Aadhar can be used to detect and weed out black money from the economy because the UID was already part of Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT), which helps the government to credit subsidies directly into the account of beneficiaries, thus bypassing middlemen.
“Aadhar is already linked to DBT. Overall demonetization is good move and it will give a big push,” Nilekani said.
Nilekani joined N R Narayanamurthy to found India’s iconic IT major Infosys in 1981. He quit as Infosys chairman to head UIDAI or Aadhar in 2009.