ALSO READ83% of money-laundering cases since note ban related to shell firms, realty Making Aadhaar must for property deals might lead to further slowdown Nitish Kumar seconds Arun Jaitley on GST push for real estate Stamp duty, property tax may stay out of GST SC declines interim stay on linking Aadhaar with bank accounts, mobiles
From bank accounts to mobile telecom services, Aadhaar has already been mandatory for a host of schemes in order to entail transparency and accountability in government programmes. Now, the Union Housing Minister Hardeep Puri has indicated mandatory Aadhaar linkage with property transactions. This comes after Narendra Modi-led government drew flak for the demonetisation drive, which rendered old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes as worthless, as a crackdown against black money. Critics and Opposition have long been saying that black money hoarders do not keep cash in hand, but rather invest elsewhere, mainly real estate. Modi has said the BHIM-Aadhaar digital payments platform has the potential to revolutionise the Indian economy while empowering common Indians. ALSO READ: How to link Aadhaar to various financial instruments “Such a move will help in sucking out black money from real estate and aid in the crackdown of benami properties,” Puri told the Economic Times. However, he added that no system can completely ensure that a transaction between two people remains absolutely transparent. ALSO READ: Aadhaar linkage order burdens AMCs The privacy conundrum Aadhaar is being challenged in the court amid apprehensions that it violated right to privacy — that a nine-judge bench had already declared as a fundamental right — with the use of biometric details like fingerprints and iris scans. At the fag end of the hearing, senior advocates Arvind Datar, Anand Grover and K V Vishwanathan, representing the petitioners, said the Centre cannot compel the citizens to link Aadhaar either with bank accounts or mobile numbers. The Supreme Court did not pass any interim order on the pleas challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act as well as linking of 12-digit unique biometric identification number with bank accounts and mobile numbers. ALSO READ: Aadhaar info leakage: Citizens demand imposition of fines on banks, telcos It said that final hearing on all Aadhaar-related issues would start before another bench in the last week of November and that bench would decide on the issue.
Moreover, the Centre has already extended the deadline until December 31.The Supreme Court on November 3 made it clear that banks and telecom service providers will have to indicate the last date of linking bank accounts and mobile numbers with Aadhaar in their communications with customers. Currently, the last date to link Aadhaar with bank accounts is December 31 this year while for mobile numbers, it is February 6, 2018. 'Aadhaar fully safe' As reported earlier, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has said Aadhaar data is completely safe and secure. Aadhaar number, it said, is not a secret number and it is to be shared with authorised agencies if one wishes to avail a certain service or benefit of government welfare schemes or other services. ALSO READ: Aadhaar-demat account linking: Sebi's diktat spooks overseas investors Till November 2016, the volume of all digital transactions was 280,000, worth Rs 101 crore, which has currently zoomed 23 times to 6,380,000 digital transactions valued at Rs 2,425 crore. At the same time, the Aadhaar Enabled Payments have doubled from 25 million in November 2016 to over 50 million in March 2017, and Immediate Payment Service transactions jumped from 36 million to 67 million during the same period. With the trifecta of JAM— Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and mobile — over 1.2 billion people get a secure digital identity through Aadhaar, 300 million households with access to the formal banking system through Jan-Dhan accounts and 400 million active mobile internet users growing at 30 million a quarter. ALSO READ: Don't have Aadhaar? You can still verify your mobile number. Here's how Aadhaar allows the government to ensure that benefits reach the poor and enables them to make payments through ordinary mobile phones. For furthering the latter the government has devised the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app.