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Government changes process of getting subsidies through Aadhaar-linked accounts

Aadhaar Cards

Taking a note after the alleged case of Bharti Airtel, the government has asked banks and NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) to change the process of sending subsidies to aadhaar-linked accounts. Along with working on drafting a new mechanism for linking subsidy payments with aadhaar-verified accounts, the government has also stopped overwriting existing subsidy accounts with that of the accounts recently verified with aadhaar.

The whole fiasco came to light after the airtel incident where the telecom company opened several million payment bank accounts  without the consent of the customers. This took place while the customer were getting their mobile numbers linked with their mobile account. On top of that, the company asked the gas companies to send the subsidies to these airtel payment bank accounts of all the account holders. Over 4.7 million subsidies worth over ₹167 crores were sent to these accounts. Everything happened without the consent of customers.

Showing a strict reaction, the government has barred Airtel from conducting e-KYC of customers and the company has been asked to wait for further orders.

In a notification, NPCI has directed all the banks to overwrite the existing subsidy bank account only in case if they have received a written consent from the previous bank as well as the customer. Also, it has asked to disable the overwrite bank account feature in all subsidy related payments till the next orders. The notification has also added that any violation of these guidelines, will attract strict action uner the aadhaar act 2016.

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Kunwar Prithvi Singh Chauhan

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