In a major breather to banks, the Unique Identification Authority of India has halved the daily minimum Aadhaar enrolment targets for stipulated bank branches from July.
Banks had a target of logging 16 enrolments daily at 10 percent of their branches. From July 1, this has been reduced to eight a day, according to a circular issued by the UIDAI. It also said that banks which achieve the fresh targets for July will not have to face “financial disincentives” up to that month.
This target has to be met by banks in three phases. As per the circular, which has been seen by PTI, these targets will be raised to minimum of 12 per day per branch from Oct. 1, and to 16 from January 2019. These numbers will be seen on a cumulative basis against the total target of the bank.
The relaxation has come in view of progress made by banks in meeting the target on setting up Aadhaar centres and the “field difficulties” cited by the banks.
“In case a bank fails to meet the target of carrying out minimum enrolment or updation per day per branch, financial disincentive in respect of uncovered branches as on last day of the month will be levied from July 2018 onward, a government official told PTI.
The Bank Aadhaar Kendras were set up with a view to accelerate the Aadhaar verification process of bank accounts and make them more convenient for the people. About 10,000 branches of private and public sector banks have so far opened Aadhaar enrolment and updation centres within their premises, as against the stipulated more than 13,851 branches that are required to do so.
Banks have been asked to ensure enrolment centres are set up and made operational and target met at the earliest “and in any case before June 30, 2018”.
In March this year, UIDAI Chief Executive Officer Ajay Bhushan Pandey had flagged low Aadhaar enrolment and updation at nearly 2,500 out of 7,000 bank branches. He instructed banks to take immediate steps to correct the situation.
The Aadhaar-issuing body was of the view that the enrolment or updation activity carried out in each of these laggard branches must be at least 16 per day and anything below this level only meant that people are not approaching such branches for Aadhaar-related activity.
The circular issued today by UIDAI further noted that at present the electronic Know-Your-Customer (eKYC) and authentication services are to be offered without any transaction charge. Although, as per the pact signed between user agencies and provisions of Aadhaar Act, “banks are liable to pay transaction charges as determined by the UIDAI from time to time”.
The UIDAI is in the process of working out the cost of providing eKYC and authentication services and will notify the same once they are finalised, the circular added.
The move comes when the Supreme Court has reserved its verdict on a batch of pleas challenging the Aadhaar Act and the use of biometric identifier in various government and non-government services.