Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Friday said banks have been asked to install fingerprint and iris scanners in 10% of their branches to expedite Aadhaar enrollment mainly for those seeking to open new bank accounts.
The Supreme Court on Friday extended till March 31, 2018, the deadline for mandatory linking of the biometric identifier with various services and welfare schemes.
The apex court has also said that new bank accounts can be opened without Aadhaar but applicants need to submit proof that he has applied for the 12-digit identification number.
“We will continuously work to simplify the Aadhaar linking process … We have asked all the banks to provide Aadhaar fingerprint and iris scanners in stipulated bank branch, so that people do not have difficulty (in enrolling),” Ajay Bhushan Pandey, the UIDAI CEO, told PTI after the SC’s interim order.
UIDAI has directed all the banks to set up Aadhaar enrollment facilities in stipulated 10% of branches.
This will enable “people who don’t have Aadhaar to get the Aadhaar (enrollment facility) in the bank itself and link bank account by March 31, 2018 as per the deadline of the Supreme Court,” Mr. Pandey said, urging people to utilise the facility.
Mr. Pandey said that banks have been asked to “speed up” the setting up of such centres so people can get enrolled at the branches and added that the information on bank branches that have Aadhaar enrollment facility is available on the authority’s website.
“So far, more than 3,000 enrollment centres have already been set up in bank branches all over the country and overall they have to set up (enrollment facility) in 14,000 bank branches,” he said.
Mr. Pandey clarified that people who already have Aadhaar and wish to open a new bank account will have to furnish the 12 digit identifier. “If you do not have Aadhaar, then you have to furnish proof of having made application for enrollment of Aadhaar,” he said.
On the extension of various deadlines for linking of Aadhaar, Pandey said the notifications issued by the government under Aadhaar Act and the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) rules are in line with today’s SC order.
“The Attorney General (AG) had submitted to the court that the government has already extended the date for linking of all existing beneficiary and bank accounts and other financial accounts till March 31, 2018. The court has accepted the submission of the AG,” Mr. Pandey noted.