New Delhi: Even as banks are bombarding account holders with SMSes and mails, reminding them of December 31 deadline for furnishing UIDAI-issued Aadhaar to experience seamless banking experience, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in response to a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by news website moneylife.in, has made it clear that it has not issued instructions regarding mandatory linking of the two.
“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,” it stated when asked to provide a copy issued by it on the same.
It has also not filed a petition with the Supreme Court, seeking explicit permission for linking the two. “RBI has not filed any petition with the Supreme Court,” the central bank said in response to the query.
The RBI’s response indicates that the decision making it mandatory to link bank accounts with Aadhaar was taken by the Centre alone.
Earlier, the Centre had made it mandatory for more than 50 centrally-sponsored schemes even as the Supreme Court restricted usage of Aadhaar to six schemes.
The moneylife.in pointed out that the Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act says giving the Aadhaar number is required for receiving benefits or services for which expenditure comes from Consolidated Fund of India. But a person who is a bank customer mostly uses his or her own money for the account, and not from the Fund.