Hyderabad/New Delhi: The RBI on Saturday dismissed reports that it was not necessary to link national identity card numbers, known as Aadhaar numbers, to bank accounts.
The confusion was caused by the RBI’s reply to an RTI query, which stated that it had not issued any circular/notification to bankers to seed Aadhaar details with bank accounts, but that the Centre had issued the order to curb money laundering.
The RTI query was filed by a website seeking copies of either the circular or notification issued by the RBI on seeding of Aadhaar and bank accounts.
Responding to the query, the RBI stated: “The government has issued a Gazette Notification GSR 538 (E) on June 1, 2017 in connection with the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017, interalia, making furnishing of Aadhaar and Permanent Account Number (PAN) mandatory for opening a bank account. It may be noted that Reserve Bank has not yet issued an instruction in this regard.”
Mr M.S. Kumar, general secretary of the Federation of Bank Employees, said the RBI had issued guidelines based on the government’s order to all bankers to seeding Aadhaar details with the bank accounts. “Though the RTI reply says the RBI did not issue any such circular or notification, it issued has guidelines,” he said.
On Saturday, the RBI said in a statement: “The Reserve Bank clarifies 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”.
The RBI said that anti-money laundering rules announced in June 2017 have “statutory force” and banks have to implement them without awaiting further instructions....