RBI Clarifies: Linking Bank Accounts With Aadhaar NOT Mandatory As Of Now!
There is still a lot of confusion, regarding linking Aadhaar with various important services.
The doubts have been finally cleared. Reserve Bank of India, India’s central banking institution, has made it absolutely clear that linking bank accounts with Aadhaar is not mandatory as of now.
This clarification by RBI has cleared so many doubts, especially at a time when banks are using every force available with them to ‘force’ and ‘coerce’ their customers to link Aadhaar with their bank accounts.
In a related news, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the central authority to monitor and regulate Aadhaar cards have explicitly said that no Indian can be denied welfare schemes, in the absence of Aadhaar card.
This comes after a 11-year old kid in Jharkhand died because she was not able to receive ration due to non-availability of Aadhaar.
RBI: Linking Of Bank Accounts With Aadhaar Not Mandatory
Moneylife, a news portal, had filed an RTI with RBI, seeking clarification on the linking with bank accounts.
In their reply, RBI has stated that it “has not issued any instruction so far regarding mandatory linking of Aadhaar number with bank accounts.”
Clearing all doubts related with ‘mandatory’ rule, RBI has said,
“The Government has issued a Gazette Notification GSR 538(E) dated 1 June 2017 regarding Prevention of Money laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017, inter-alia, making furnishing of Aadhaar (for those individuals who are eligible to be enrolled for Aadhaar) and permanent number (PAN) mandatory for opening a bank account. It may be noted that Reserve Bank has not yet issued an instruction in this regard”.
This means that Govt. is forcing all banks to ask their customers for linking their bank accounts, in their own capacity. RBI as such hasn’t issued any notification regarding the same.
In the RTI, it was also asked whether RBI has taken permission to force mandatory linking with bank accounts, which, RBI has denied, as they have said they have issued no such notification in their official capacity.
In May this year, we had reported how a journalist figured out that Aadhaar linking of bank accounts is not mandatory, as unnamed bank managers informed her this fact.
However, in June, under Prevention of Money Laundering Rule, Govt. has made it mandatory for all bank accounts to be linked with Aadhaar by December 2017, or else their accounts would be blocked.
Confusion persists, but one thing is clear: If you are linking your bank account with Aadhaar, then do please do it only at the bank, not via phone. If you are doing it via phone, responding to a fraudster, your money can be robbed.
UIDAI: No Indian Can Be Denied Welfare In Absence of Aadhaar
A huge uproar ensued in India, when a 11-year old girl from Jharkhand’s one of the poorest district died when she was not given ration as her Aadhaar was not linked.
Although clarifications were issued later, that she died because of malaria, and not Aadhaar issue, the anger was clearly there.
UIDAI had to come out, and issue a statement, saying that no Indian can be denied welfare in the absence of Aadhaar.
UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey has said, “Section 7 specifies that till Aadhaar number is prescribed, the benefits should be given through alternate means of identification,”
Pandey also stated that the girl had Aadhaar card, and the reason for her death is indeed unfortunate. A proper enquiry would be done to find out the truth.
He said, “The Jharkhand government has ordered a probe in the matter to find out the facts behind the unfortunate incident. I expect that person responsible for denial of benefits – inspite of Aadhaar card – will be held accountable and necessary action will be taken against such people by the state, so that it acts as a deterrent for future.”
We will keep you updated as we receive more information.
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