The Finance Bill was approved in Rajya Sabha today, but there was a setback for the NDA government, as the opposition enforced the Upper House to include five amendments before the bill was approved. The NDA is in a minority in the Rajya Sabha, due to which it could not gather the necessary votes. The Rajya Sabha has a total of 245 members, of which, the NDA only has 74 members. The amendments were voted by members and these were accepted with a significant margin, ranging from a difference of 27 to 34 votes. Three of the amendments were proposed by Congress member Digvijaya Singh whereas two other amendments were moved by Sitaram Yechury of CPI (M).
During the debate, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley strongly supported the government’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for various benefits, as it will help reduce frauds and cases of tax evasion. Jaitley even lauded the earlier UPA government for launching the Aadhaar platform and said that the current NDA government is just trying to utilize it in better ways. Jaitley also reiterated that Aadhaar is completely safe and secure.