Get your Aad­haar card to open bank ac­counts

Consumer Voice - - In The News -

The ra­tion card – the gov­ern­ment-is­sued book­let for avail­ing of sub­si­dized food un­der the public dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tem – will no longer be a valid doc­u­ment for open­ing bank ac­counts. Aad­haar is now set to be­come the sin­gle univer­sal doc­u­ment for open­ing a bank ac­count in In­dia.

In a cir­cu­lar dated 17 July ad­dressed to banks, the RBI said that it has re­vised its ‘know your cus­tomer’ guide­lines with the gov­ern­ment's pre­ven­tion of mon­ey­laun­der­ing norms. RBI has now spec­i­fied ‘of­fi­cially valid doc­u­ments’ to be the Aad­haar card, the voter ID card, the per­ma­nent ac­count num­ber (PAN) card, the driv­ing li­cense, the pass­port, or the NREGA card. The list is iden­ti­cal to the ear­lier list ex­cept for one change. The ear­lier def­i­ni­tion also in­cluded ‘any other doc­u­ment as may be required by the bank­ing com­pany or fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion or in­ter­me­di­ary’. This has now been re­placed with ‘any doc­u­ment no­ti­fied by the cen­tral gov­ern­ment’.

It may be re­called that the Supreme Court of In­dia in its judge­ment in March 2014 had ruled Aad­haar card as ‘not’ a manda­tory doc­u­ment. Now, as a con­se­quence of the new no­ti­fi­ca­tion, Aad­haar card has be­come the most im­por­tant doc­u­ment since the other five of­fi­cial doc­u­ments though im­por­tant may not be avail­able with most un­banked cus­tomers.

In­ter­est­ingly, in De­cem­ber 2012, the Bom­bay high court had sug­gested that the state gov­ern­ment could con­sider link­ing Aad­haar card with ra­tion cards so as to weed out bo­gus and du­pli­cate ra­tion cards in the state. The court also sug­gested the con­sti­tu­tion of a nodal agency with of­fi­cials from the de­part­ments con­cerned to look into the is­sue. Ear­lier, the state had dis­closed that there were 11 lakh bo­gus ra­tion cards in use.

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