Aad­haar will pro­vide a strong web of se­cu­rity to the buyer and seller & this will curb be­nami prop­er­ties

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Nam­rata Kohli feed­back@livemint.com Nam­rata Kohli tracks ev­ery­thing from House to Home, from real es­tate to in­te­ri­ors and cap­tur­ing key trends in prop­erty mar­kets in In­dia and glob­ally

The twelve digit num­ber is set to be­come the most im­por­tant iden­tity of res­i­dents of In­dia, with Aad­haar be­com­ing linked to ev­ery­thing from PAN, bank ac­count, mo­bile num­ber and even the fi­nan­cial mar­ket and real es­tate mar­ket transactions. It is be­lieved that in or­der to put a check on be­nami deals, the gov­ern­ment is mak­ing it manda­tory to in­clude Aad­haar dur­ing the regis­tra­tion of the doc­u­ments, re­lated to the prop­erty deal. Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of Unique Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Au­thor­ity of In­dia (UIDAI) has played a key role in draft­ing of Aad­haar (Tar­geted De­liv­ery of Fi­nan­cial and Other Sub­si­dies, Ben­e­fits and Ser­vices) Act, 2016, and Reg­u­la­tions for im­ple­men­ta­tion of Aad­haar Act.

Nam­rata Kohli speaks to Dr AB Pandey, CEO UIDAI on how Aad­haar is set to be­come the gate­keeper of the In­dian real es­tate in­dus­try. Edited ex­cerpts:

Is it true that in times to come, for buy­ing and sell­ing, prop­erty reg­is­tra­tions, Aad­haar will be­come manda­tory?

Regis­tra­tion of prop­erty is not yet di­rectly linked with Aad­haar but to make the pay­ment, it has to be done through a bank ac­count which is al­ready linked to your Aad­haar card. Any real es­tate trans­ac­tion re­quires you to pro­duce your PAN num­ber which again is linked to Aad­haar. Thus, there are mul­ti­ple lay­ers of checks weaved into the sys­tem and once ev­ery PAN Card in the coun­try is linked with Aad­haar, it will de­ter black money hoard­ers from skip­ping tax, and real es­tate mar­ket will be­come trans­par­ent.

I feel the use of Aad­haar in prop­erty regis­tra­tion will tremen­dously help and pro­tect the in­ter­est of both par­ties i.e. the buyer and the seller. We have seen in the past a num­ber of in­stances of one im­per­son­at­ing the other and the buyer hav­ing to suf­fer a life­time in lit­i­ga­tions. The owner of prop­erty will have men­tal peace and safety as his prop­erty can­not be now sold through de­ceit. This is the strong web of se­cu­rity that Aad­har can pro­vide to both the buyer and seller and this will even­tu­ally curb be­nami prop­er­ties.

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What is the cov­er­age of the Aad­haar card in In­dia?

The to­tal cov­er­age so far has been 116 crore. And our tar­get is to cover the full pop­u­la­tion of ap­prox. 130 crore. We have cov­ered 90% of the cur­rent to­tal pop­u­la­tion of In­dia and 99% of the adult pop­u­la­tion. Ex­cept ar­eas of North East, Jammu and Kash­mir, we have done the rest. We are try­ing to cover in­fants, young adults, school chil­dren and aim­ing for com­plete cov­er­age of ev­ery­one in the coun­try. For the new born, be­fore they get their birth cer­tifi­cate, they will get Aad­haar. In the case of in­fants, the fin­ger­prints as well as Aad­haar card of par­ents will be con­sid­ered. When the child turns five, his bio­met­rics are taken. Be­sides, we have a fa­cil­ity to “up­date” as well be­cause over the life­time of a per­son many things change, such as the pho­to­graphs, the names (par­tic­u­larly of women), res­i­den­tial ad­dress etc. We will soon have Aad­haar cen­tres in­side banks and post of­fices for up­da­tion.

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While Aad­haar was per­ceived as an im­por­tant doc­u­ment for a cit­i­zen of In­dia, it is now be­com­ing from be­ing purely vol­un­tary by na­ture to be­com­ing manda­tory for any In­dian cit­i­zen.

The en­rol­ment in Aad­haar is strictly vol­un­tary as per the Aad­haar act. But I must qual­ify my state­ment with the fact that today agen­cies, de­part­ments, and the gov­ern­ment re­quire Aad­haar for es­sen­tial ser­vices. Ev­ery­one has a right to get Aad­haar and they must in­sist on get­ting it.

It’s like the right to ed­u­ca­tion – it is not manda­tory but there are ob­vi­ous ben­e­fits.

Yes, it is true that Aad­haar must be linked to your PAN card, bank ac­count and mo­bile phone num­bers. Ev­ery tele­com provider and all SIM cards will reg­is­ter Aad­haar and the dead­line for this is Fe­bru­ary 2018.

Aad­haar has also be­come the gate­keeper to Dalal street. We un­der­stand that the gov­ern­ment and SEBI are plan­ning to link Aad­haar to fi­nan­cial mar­ket transactions and make it a com­pul­sory doc­u­ment to buy shares and mu­tual funds?

Yes, it is true that the gov­ern­ment amended the Pre­ven­tion of Money Laun­der­ing Rules and now Aad­haar and PAN card are im­por­tant for any fi­nan­cial mar­ket transactions. This is in the in­ter­est of ev­ery­one.

There are many in­stances of du­pli­ca­tion of PAN cards in In­dia. Per­ma­nent ac­count num­ber may not be enough to plug tax leaks. What are the safe­guards be­ing de­ployed by UIDAI to en­sure that at least the Aad­har card is not repli­cated?

Aad­haar is based on bio­met­rics. It is much harder for one per­son to have two Aad­haar cards. The vi­sion of Aad­haar is that ev­ery res­i­dent of In­dia be em­pow­ered with a unique iden­tity which is non-repli­ca­ble, seam­less, real time and which al­lows them to avail ser­vices.

What about track­ing transactions by NRIs and for­eign­ers? How does one keep track of the money en­ter­ing the real es­tate in­dus­try by these en­ti­ties who do not have an Aad­haar card cur­rently?

Aad­haar card is strictly for the res­i­dents of In­dia. It is ap­pli­ca­ble for those peo­ple who have lived in In­dia for a min­i­mum of 182 days in a year. For NRIs, may be some other con­cerned min­istry depart­ment will take ac­tion.

Ajay Bhushan Pandey

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