Aadhaar linking of bank accounts mandatory, clarifies RBI

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has clarified that linking Aadhaar to bank accounts is mandatory after some news items appeared in a section of the media quoting a reply to a Right to Information Act application that Aadhaar number linkage with bank accounts is not mandatory.

''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 published in the Official Gazette on June 1, 2017.

''These Rules have statutory force and, as such, banks have to implement them without awaiting further instructions,'' RBI said in its clarification.

Reports citing an RTI query report by Monelife.com had earlier said that Reserve Bank of India (RBI) "has not issued any instruction so far regarding mandatory liking of Aadhaar number with bank accounts, even as banks continue to remind customers of the December deadline for linking Aadhaar with their bank accounts.

The report quoted the central bank as stating this in response to a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by Moneylife.in.

The central bank's response indicates that decision to mandatorily link bank accounts with Aadhaar was taken by the Centre alone, not the Reserve Bank, said the Moneylife report.

However, the report had also said, "The government has issued a Gazette Notification GSR 538(E) dated 1 June 2017 regarding Prevention of Money laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017, inter-alia, making furnishing of Aadhaar (for those individuals who are eligible to be enrolled for Aadhaar) and permanent number (PAN) mandatory for opening a bank account. It may be noted that Reserve Bank has not yet issued an instruction in this regard," RBI said in its response to the RTI query.