Parliament Gives Its Nod To Voluntary Use Of Aadhaar As Proof Of Identity

The Logical Indian Crew India

July 9th, 2019 / 4:55 PM

Image Credit: Newsclick, India

On July 8, the Parliament passed an amendment bill which allows the voluntary use of Aadhaar as a proof of identity for users to open bank accounts and obtain a phone connection. 

This move comes after the government encouraging robust Data Protection Act after consultations with all stakeholders. 

Voluntary Use Of Aadhaar

The Rajya Sabha on Monday passed The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 permitting voluntary linking of the 12-digit identification number as part of Know Your Customer (KYC) guidelines to open bank accounts or get a mobile connection.

The law ensures no individual is denied any service for not producing Aadhaar for authentication. An Aadhaar holder can now opt for offline verification through QR code with consent.

It also allows people to file complaints on the misuse of data or disclosure of their identity.

It gives an option for children to opt out from the biometric ID programme after 18 years of age. Further, UIDAI can also impose a penalty of up to 1 crore if an entity fails to comply with the Aadhaar law and does not provide the information sought by UIDAI.

Under the revised Act, Aadhaar data can only be shared when there is a threat to national security or if there is a court order.

Need For Data Protection Law

Ravi Shankar Prasad, while presenting the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill in Rajya Sabha, asserted that the Aadhaar is safe and sound with all necessary encryption. No core biometric information collected or created for this act shall be shared with anyone for any reason whatsoever. 

The amendments in the law will ensure prevention of misuse of 12 digit identification number.

He also said that the Centre would introduce a comprehensive data protection law because the government considers data sovereignty an essential thing and will ensure that it is never compromised. 

Aadhaar-PAN Interchangeable

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her maiden budget speech on July 5, said, “For ease of taxpayers, I propose to make PAN card and Aadhaar card interchangeable and allow those who don’t have PAN to file returns by directly quoting Aadhaar number.”

She said, “More than 120 crore Indians now have Aadhaar card. Therefore for ease of taxpayers, I propose to make PAN card and Aadhaar card interchangeable and allow those who don’t have PAN to file returns by simply quoting Aadhaar number and use it wherever they require to use PAN.”

With this move, individuals will be able to use Aadhaar cards instead of PAN cards to carry out financial transactions, for instance, mutual fund investments, buying gold, and others.

Sitharaman also said that Aadhaar card for NRIs with Indian passports will be issued after their arrival in India, without waiting for 180 days.

Also Read: Govt All Set To Build An ‘ Like’ E-Commerce Portal For The MSME Sector: Nitin Gadkari


Written by : Navya Singh

Edited by : Shraddha Goled

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