Scope and benefits of linking aadhaar card with bank accounts
The issue has been debated extensively at different forums, and it all ended with the Supreme Court ruling in favor of linking Aadhaar Card and the biometrics with numerous services. It brought to an end the several petitions challenging the validity and the logic of connecting Aadhaar with various services.
The citizens of India are receiving frequent reminders in the form of text messages to mobiles to link Aadhaar Cards with many essential services. RBI (Reserve Bank of India) has also made it mandatory to connect bank accounts with Aadhaar number with the deadline being 31st December 2017.
As per the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), linking the card with various schemes aids in eliminating duplicities and fakes. It eventually provides factual data helpful in the implementation of different welfare schemes of the Government and at the same time ensuring that the benefits reach the ones intended for.
As already seen in the case of Permanent Account Numbers (PAN), mandatory linking with Aadhaar lead to weeding out duplicate PANs and minimize tax leakages. It is similarly expected that linking bank accounts will bring down benami (buying of property without registering the same in the name of the buyer but some other person) transactions and money laundering activities.
For account holders linking the bank account will provide us access to the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS). Even a rural person with little exposure will be able to transfer or receive payments in a seamlessly easy way.
The various subsidies on commodities like sugar, rice, pulses, kerosene and other similar products will be directly transferred to our linked bank account. Further, the LPG subsidy will also be credited only to the bank account with which consumer’s Aadhaar Card is connected with. Therefore, to receive the credit of the subsidy amount the linking of the account number of the consumer is necessary.
The various scholarship schemes of the Government meant for the students will also adhere to this guideline.
The rural citizens of India and more importantly the BPL (Below the Poverty Line) families, the wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MNREGA) will get credited only to the bank account of the workers. Similarly with regards to the tribal welfare schemes, the same will be applicable.
With all these benefits in mind, we all need to take this small step of linking our bank accounts with our Aadhaar Cards. Failing which, the banks will have the right to freeze our accounts as per the government directive.
Devising the government welfare schemes and its implementation becomes effective when the authorities have access to accurate data. Linking bank accounts with Aadhaar Card is going to ensure this. The benefits of the various government schemes will not go wasted and will be received by the ones for which the plans were intended.
Although, there are concerns regarding privacy and frauds that need to be addressed. If one links his Aadhaar fraudulently with someone’s account, he can use AEPS to withdraw money. These procedural issues also need to be addressed.