The UIDAI has given banks one more month to open Aadhaar enrollment centres in a stipulated 10 per cent of branches and will impose Rs 20,000 as fine per uncovered branch after September 30, CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey said today. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), in July, had asked private as well as public banks to open Aadhaar enrolment and updation facility in one out of 10 branches by August-end. The reprieve of one month has now been granted as many banks sought additional time from the authority for setting up such facility on their premises. “Banks approached us saying they need more time, so we have given them till September 30 to set up the facility. Non-compliance after the deadline will attract a fine of Rs 20,000 per uncovered branch every month,” Pandey told PTI. This means a bank with 100 branches will need to have Aadhaar enrolment facility in 10 branches. Failure to open the stipulated facility in, say, five branches even after expiry of the September 30 deadline, would mean that the bank will have to cough up penalty of Rs 1 lakh in the first month itself (at the rate of Rs 20,000 per uncovered branch).
Similarly, the penalty will be imposed in subsequent months, also based on the branches that are left uncovered. Aadhaar, the 12-digit biometric identity number, is required for opening of bank accounts and financial transaction of Rs 50,000 and above. Existing bank account holders too are required to furnish the Aadhaar number by December 31, 2017. “This (enrolment facility in bank premises) was done for convenience of people. Given the requirement of linking Aadhaar with existing bank account and for new bank accounts, having the enrollment and updation facilities within the branches (10 per cent) will ensure that people do not face any difficulty,” Pandey explained the rationale.
Many banks have informed the authority that the process of procuring biometric devices, certification of enrollment operators and identifying enrollment agencies is still on. “We wanted to give banks a reasonable time to set up the required infrastructure, and one month is a reasonable time,” Pandey said, adding that he did not anticipate any further delay by banks to have the enrollment facilities in place. The PSU and private banks have been informed about the extension.
There are 1,20,000 bank branches in the country and with this move, 12,000 Aadhaar enrolment and updation centres will have to be set up in those branches. Many banks are already registrars, but they do not have enrollment centres inside the bank premises today.