The Supreme Court last week extended the deadline for linking Aadhaar to all services including new bank accounts and mobile phone connections, to March 31, 2018. Earlier this month, the deadline for linking PAN with Aadhaar too had been extended by three months to March 31,
2018. Asked about how many PANs have been linked to Aadhaar, Pandey said that nearly 14 crore of about 30 crore PANs have been linked so far. Regarding bank accounts that have been seeded with Aadhaar, he said the number stood at about 70 crore as against an estimated 100 crore bank accounts. "We will continue to work on simplifying the Aadhaar linking process. We have asked all the banks to provide Aadhaar fingerprint and iris scanner in branches (stipulated
10 per cent branches), so that people don't face any difficulty," Pandey said.
The government is pushing for linking a host of services such as credit cards, cell phones and bank accounts to Aadhaar to weed out ghost holders and check tax evasion. With 119 crore residents already enrolled for the Aadhaar -- a unique 12-digit number backed by fingerprints, iris scans and certain demographic details -- the programme today is the world's largest biometric database.
He said Aadhaar is saving the government crores of rupees by better targeting beneficiaries of subsidised food and cash transfers. After the deadline extension, the PAN, which helps track tax filings, bank accounts, credit cards, insurance policies, mutual funds, pension plans and social welfare benefits will have to be linked to Aadhaar by March 31, 2018.
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