The government on Friday made the Aadhaar card mandatory for opening bank accounts and for financial transactions of Rs 50,000 and above.
Existing bank account holders have been asked to submit the Aadhaar number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (Uidai) by December 31, 2017, failing which the account will be declared invalid, according to a revenue department notification.
The government in Budget 2017 had also mandated seeding the Aadhaar number with the Permanent Account Number (PAN) to avoid individuals using multiple PANs to evade taxes. The notification amending the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005, mandated quoting Aadhaar along with PAN or Form 60 by individuals, companies and partnership firms for all financial transactions of Rs 50,000 or above. Tightening the rules for small accounts, which can be opened without having valid Know Your Customer documents, the amendment said such accounts, which can have a maximum deposit of Rs 50,000, could be opened only at branches with core banking solution.
It can also be opened at a branch where it is possible to manually monitor and ensure that foreign remittance are not credited to such account and stipulated limits on monthly and annual aggregate of transactions and balance are not breached, the amended the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) rules stated.
Such small account shall remain operational initially for a period of 12 months and thereafter for a similar period if the account holder provides evidence that he or she has applied for officially valid identification documents.
“The small account shall be monitored and when there is a suspicion of money laundering or financing of terrorism or other high risk scenarios, the identity of claim shall be established through the production of official valid documents,” it said.
The amendment makes it mandatory for individuals, companies and partnership firms to quote Aadhaar along with PAN or Form 60 for all financial transactions of Rs 50,000 or above with effect from June 1.
After June 1, if a person does not have an Aadhaar number at the time of opening of account, then he has to furnish proof of application of enrolment for Aadhaar and submit the number to the bank within six months of opening of the bank account.
“In case the client, eligible to be enrolled for Aadhaar and obtain a PAN... does not submit the Aadhaar number or the PAN at the time of commencement of an account-based relationship with a reporting entity, the client shall submit the same within a period of 6 months from the date of the commencement of the account based relationship.
“Provided that the clients... already having an account-based relationship with reporting entities prior to date of this notification, the client shall submit the Aadhaar number and PAN by December 31, 2017,” the notification said.
So far, according to PMLA rules, it was mandatory to provide PAN number or Form 60 to banks while opening of accounts or for high-value transactions. For companies opening bank accounts, Aadhaar number of managers, or employees holding an attorney to transact on the company’s behalf will have to be provided.