FM sets out bank account-Aadhaar linking deadline

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asked all banks to ensure all bank accounts are Aadhaar-seeded by March 31, 2021 and linked with PAN cards wherever necessary.

Addressing the annual general meeting of the Indian Banks’ Association, the Finance Minister said, “Ideally by December, if not by March 31, 2021, every account should have a PAN where needed and applicable and Aadhaar in every case.”

Sitharaman also advised banks to issue RuPay cards as the first option to customers. Urging bankers to promote RuPay cards, she said National Payments Corporation of India can become a brand India product. Whenever issuing a card, you must first issue a Rupay card, the Finance Minister said in her virtual address.

“Whoever needs the card, RuPay will be the only card you will promote,” she said. She said there should not be any unverified account in the system. “I will not be patient to hear that there still exist accounts which are not Aadhar seeded, and linked with PAN cards wherever needed beyond December 31.

The deadline could be extended till March next year at the maximum, she clarified later. Sitharaman said the financial inclusion story is not over and banks still have inclusion to carry forward.

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