If you have not done it already, you don’t need to rush to link your bank accounts and permanent account number (PAN) to your Aadhaar number.
Providing a major relief to customers, the central government has extended the deadline to link Aadhaar with bank accounts and PAN to March 31, 2018, according to an order issued by the finance ministry on December 13.
Earlier, in a gazette notification issued on December 12, the government had extended the deadline to link Aadhar without specifying a date. A day later, the finance ministry issued a statement specifying a deadline.
In June, the government had made it mandatory to link the 12-digit Aadhaar number, a unique identity based on biometric authentication, to bank accounts and PAN card by December 31, 2017, failing which the accounts will be inoperative. The government had amended the provisions of the Prevention of Money-Laundering (PMLA) Act, 2002 for the same.
The PMLA amendment of 2017 had directed all banks and financial institutions like mutual funds, wallets and insurance firms to have their customers comply with the Aadhaar linking.
Mobile subscribers are also required to link their numbers with Aadhaar, as per instructions by the telecom ministry. Interestingly, Aaadhaar linking is not required for fixed line, broadband and DTH as of now.
The deadline for linking mobile number to the biometric identity is February 6, 2018, failing which the number will be disconnected. There is no change in this deadline as of now. According to an earlier report, only less than half of India’s 110 crore subscribers have linked their mobile number to their Aadhaar number.
The finance ministry’s decision to extend the deadline has come as a relief as there are several cases being heard in Supreme Court currently challenging the government’s decision to link Aadhaar as it would infringe on the privacy of the citizens. (Read this The Wire article to understand major privacy concerns.)