"UID will cost Rs 1.5 to 2.0 lakh crores"
This is a highly exaggerated and speculative cost estimate, apparently derived from extrapolating a cost study in the UK. Our analysis shows that the initial cost to enroll all 1.2 billion Indians will be in the vicinity of Rs 18,000 crores, nearly one-tenth of that estimate. Our estimate is based on the cost experience of the UIDAI to date and its budget request information. We go over detailed estimates in our article titled "Cost of the UID Project".
Exaggerating the cost estimates while understating potential benefits seems to be part of the strategy to discredit the project before it begins to show its promise to reduce fakes and duplicates in our welfare systems and helps bring the millions of ID-less into the mainstream. In reality, the UIDAI has consistently come under budget and is ahead of schedule in all its milestones to date.