The government has made biometric identification Aadhaar mandatory for all post office deposits, PPF, the National Savings Certificate scheme, Public Provident Fund and Kisan Vikas Patra.
Official Gazette notifications have been issued by the Department of Economic Affairs, requiring providing of Aadhaar details by existing account holders to the post offices by December 31. Those not having Aadhaar number should submit proof of enrolment application for Aadhaar.
"Provided that where Aadhaar number has not been assigned, the depositor shall submit proof of application of enrolment for Aadhaar," the notification dated September 29 said.
Existing depositors who have not provided Aadhaar number at the time of application for such deposit "shall submit his Aadhaar number to the post office savings bank or deposit office concerned, on or before December 31, 2017," it added.
With these notifications, virtually all the financial sector services like bank accounts and insurance policies have been covered under the requirement of providing Aadhaar details.
The government has insisted on quoting Aadhaar for bank deposits, obtaining mobile phone and several other utilities to weed out benami deals and blackmoney. As many as 135 schemes (of 35 ministries) including the free cooking gas (LPG) to poor women, kerosene and fertiliser subsidy, targeted public distribution system (PDS) and MGNREGA will be covered by the extension.
"As a result of the review of welfare schemes covered and to provide the benefits of such schemes to all eligible beneficiaries of the scheme, it has been decided to further extend the stipulated date in all such notifications up to December 31, 2017," an order dated Sept ..
"It is hereby clarified that this extension shall only apply to those beneficiaries who are not assigned Aadhaar number or those who have not yet enrolled for Aadhaar. Such beneficiaries are required to enrol for Aadhaar by December 31, 2017 and provide their Aadhaar number or enrolment ID," it had said.