BE/RBI/41/2017 dt 1.12.17
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has clarified that it is mandatory to link Aadhaar cards to the bank accounts under the Prevention of Money Laundering regulations in the country, the Public Sector Banks’ Officer union has demanded that linking should be put on hold till the Supreme Court comes out with a clear directive.
All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) has also registered their protest against instructions given by some of the banks to designate certain branches as special cells for enrolment of Aadhaar. The union further adds that the government should make it clear before the common citizens of the country that the seeding of Aadhaar is purely voluntary and not mandatory. They added that the advisory to this effect should also be passed to all the stakeholders. The union also demanded that the government should look for alternatives or add more workforce into banks to implement Aadhaar related works in the public sector banks.
The RBI release had added that these rules have statutory force and as such banks have to implement them without awaiting further instructions. The Central bank in response to some news items that linkage is not compulsory has added that in applicable cases, linkage of Aadhaar number to bank account is mandatory under the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017 published in the Official Gazette on June 1, 2017.
Though the Supreme Court said that Aadhaar is not illegal and privacy not absolute, a final judgment on the need to make Aadhaar mandatory is still awaited. So if government has the final say, then bank accounts that are not linked to Aadhaar will become in operational from January 1, 2018.
However exemptions are given to small accounts where the annual credits in the account does not exceed Rs one lakh and aggregate of all withdrawals and transfers in a month does not exceed Rs 10,000.
Meanwhile the All India bank officers Confederation (AIBOC) said in a release ever since the government notification amending the PML Rules, 2005, under which bank accounts that were not seeded with the Aadhaar number by December 31 would cease to be operational, banks have gone into an overdrive to get their account holders to furnish Aadhaar details – and are desperate to head-off a situation where branches might end up swamped with frantic customers as the deadline nears.