RBI clarifies linking Aadhaar to bank account mandatory

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) "has not issued any instruction so far regarding mandatory liking of Aadhaar number with bank accounts, even as banks continue to remind customers of the December deadline for linking Aadhaar with their bank accounts, reveals an RTI reply".

Linking of Aadhaar with your bank account is not mandatory yet.

Joining the Aadhaar seeding debate, public sector banks' officer union has demanded that mandatory linking of biometric identity number should be put on hold till such time the Supreme Court comes out with a clear directive. The RBI replied saying it has not filed any petition before the SC. Earlier in June this year, the government said that Aadhaar is necessary for any transactions over Rs 50,000 and to open an account in the bank. "It may be noted that the Reserve Bank has not yet issued an instruction in this regard". The Central Government had added in its order that if the existing bank account holders do not submit their Aadhaar number to the concerned bank, the transaction through the account would be stopped or suspended.

But many customers appear to be holding out, awaiting the final verdict of a Supreme Court bench that is looking into privacy concerns associated with the 12-digit number.

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This is unacceptable since the bank staff are overburdened due to inadequate recruitment and increased volume of work of implementing various government schemes, among other things, it said.

In a press release, the central bank categorically stated that the requirement remained in force under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in August had said that 524 million Aadhaar numbers had been linked to 736.2 million bank accounts in India. Telecom service providers too have been alerting their customers to link their mobile numbers with their Aadhaar numbers by February 6, 2018, citing a circular issued by the Department of Telecom (DoT).

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