Ahmedabad: While criticism of India’s unique identification programme persists on news and social media back home, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said Aadhaar is responsible for stopping $8 billion in leakages, in his keynote address on ‘Technology for development’ at the World Government Summit in Dubai.

“Governments must ensure technology is used for development not destruction. Technology has empowered the common man, which has given a fillip to minimum government, maximum governance,” said Modi, who was the guest of honour.

“My government’s mantra is ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas. With Aadhaar, $8 billion worth of leakages have been plugged. A digital revolution is taking place in India,” the Prime Minister said, adding, “We need to follow the six Rs that stand for reduce, reuse, recycle, recover, redesign and remanufacture—and technology will take us to a point where we can rejoice.”

“Projects stuck for 40 years have started moving. Files stuck because of bureaucracy have started moving because of real-time monitoring that technology has made possible,” Modi said.

Speaking about the host city, Modi said, “Dubai is an example for the world. For development, Dubai is a great driver of technology. It has converted a desert into an ocean… A person can be awed by hearing about the technological advances in Dubai, but seeing it for real is a great experience.”

The Prime Minister’s second visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE)—the first was in August 2015—is part of the second leg of a three-nation visit that began with Palestine on Saturday. On Sunday morning, Modi attended the stone-laying ceremony of the first Hindu temple to be built in Abu Dhabi that he described as a “unique symbol of religious tolerance and the Indian principle of vasudhaiv kutumbkam”—one world, one family. Following his address at the World Government Summit, the Prime Minister interacted with business leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council. He is scheduled to leave for Oman later on Sunday.