Friday, September 29, 2017

Checklist of documents and accounts to link with Aadhaar

Like it or not, life without Aadhaar is going to be rather difficult from here on. From getting a mobile connection to getting government subsidies and pension, and conducting financial transactions, you just cannot escape Aadhaar. There is a long list of documents and accounts where linking your Aadhaar number has been made mandatory. Then there are those where it is yet to become compulsory but it can help in revalidation of existing documents or establishing one's identity while applying for new documents.  

Below are some important accounts and documents which have to be linked with Aadhaar:  

1. Bank Account 
The government has made it mandatory for banks to verify and link Aadhaar of their customers with their savings accounts. As of now, the deadline for doing this is December 31, 2017, and accounts where Aadhaar is not linked by then will become inoperable unless there's an extension on the last date for doing so.  

2. Mutual fund investments 
It has been made mandatory for financial institutions including mutual fund houses to obtain their customers' Aadhaar numbers and link the same to their respective accounts. This follows a recent amendment in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Rules, 2017. The current deadline for mutual funds to comply with this directive is December 31, 2017.  

3. PAN card 
The government had earlier notified that income tax returns filed after July 1, 2017 would be accepted only after a tax assessee had linked his PAN with Aadhaar. The latest deadline set by the government to comply with this directive is December 31, 2017. Individuals must link their PAN with Aadhaar by this date in order for their returns to be processed.  

4. Social security schemes 
Aadhaar is mandatory to avail benefits of social security schemes like Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, and the deadline to furnish Aadhaar details for the same is December 31. However, the Supreme Court is still to give a final decision on a slew of petitions challenging the legal validity of Aadhaar on the grounds that it is an intrusion into a citizen's fundamental right to privacy.  

5. Pension account 
In January this year, Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) had made it mandatory for its pensioners to provide either Aadhaar or enrolment ID to remain beneficiaries of its social security schemes. To comply with the EPFOdirective, with effect from February 1, 2017, those who are eligible for pension under the Employees' Pension Scheme (form 10C - more than ten years of continuous service) must furnish their Aadhaar number.  

6. Mobile SIM cards 
Aadhaar based e-KYC verification for all mobile phone subscribers must be done by February 6, 2018. The government has asked telecom operators to re-verify all existing mobile subscribers via Aadhaar-based e-KYC by this date. It has also become mandatory to provide Aadhaar details while buying new mobile connections.  

Now here is a list of documents and accounts where linking or quoting Aadhaar is not mandatory, but doing so can make your life easier: 

7. Faster provident fund (PF) claims 
Though it is not mandatory to link your Aadhaar number to your PF account, doing so will allow you to apply for the claim online and get it within 5 days, as opposed to over a month without Aadhaar linking. This is part of the EPFO's exercise to reduce the time taken to settle PF claims and to go paperless.  

8. Death certificate 
From October 1, 2017, death certificates will need to have the person's Aadhaar number for the purpose of establishing the identity of the deceased. This has been done to avoid benefits or subsidies being claimed in the name of deceased. If the deceased's family does not know the Aadhaar number, a certificate has to be furnished by the applicant regarding the same. False declarations will be treated as an offence under the Aadhaar Act and the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969. The person applying for the death certificate for a family member needs to furnish his or her Aadhaar as well. So, for death certificates also, furnishing Aadhaar details is effectively mandatory.  

9. Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) 
Although it is not mandatory to give your Aadhaar details to get benefits under DBT, beneficiaries are encouraged to do so. Seeding your DBT scheme-linked accounts with Aadhaar safeguards against duplication and fraudulent activity and ensures that the money transfer reaches directly to your Aadhaar-linked bank account. This enables getting the benefits, subsidy or services without any hindrance.  

10. Driving licence and registration of new vehicles 
The government is planning to link driving license and the registration of vehicles with Aadhaar number of the owner. This is being done with a view to curb issue of fake licences and the registration of stolen vehicles. The Aadhaar number's biometric details are expected to help prevent such practices.

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