UIDAI Allows Airtel To E-Verify Telecom Subscribers Till January 10

UIDAI Allows Airtel To E-Verify Telecom Subscribers Till January 10

UIDAI, in an interim order, "suspended e-KYC license key of Bharti Airtel Ltd and Airtel Payment Bank Ltd with immediate effect", sources with direct knowledge of the development said.

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.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has conditionally allowed Bharti Airtel to conduct e-KYC verification of mobile subscribers up to January 10 if Rs 138 crore of the cooking gas subsidy transferred into its subscribers' payment bank accounts is reverted to other bank accounts held by them. ET had reported on Monday that apart from overhauling its process for mapping Aadhaar-linked bank accounts to subsidy payments, government is also temporarily halted the existing provision of overwriting existing subsidy linked bank accounts with freshly mapped Aadhaar accounts.

Airtel can use the e-KYC and authentication service only for re-verification and issuing SIM cards.

In its order, UIDAI said Bharti Airtel shall use the e-KYC and authentication service only for the goal of re-verification and issuance of SIM cards and shall not use it for obtaining consent of the Aadhaar holder for opening bank accounts, wallet, DTH or any other goods or services.

The UIDAI said that the NPCI will allow over ride request to an Aadhaar holder only if it is accompanied by the name of their current bank on the APB mapper and confirmation from the requesting bank that it has obtained the requisite consent of the Aadhaar holder for switching to the requesting bank on the mapper. "We continue to engage with the authorities", said a Bharti Airtel spokesperson.

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UIDAI observed that as per agreement with the authority, Airtel and Airtel Bank are duty bound and under obligation to ensure security and privacy of residents' identity information.

UIDAI may consider revocation of suspension or decide further necessary action upon receipt of the report.

The company said, "We wish to clarify that the re-verification for mobile phones and the opening of Airtel Payment Bank Accounts are separate transactions and not linked". Violations are liable to be punished with Rs 1 lakh per day fine and termination of authentication user agreements.

These replies were found to be unsatisfactory by UIDAI, which issued another notice on November 24.

In order to check diversions, the government pays subsidy equivalent to buying 12 LPG cylinders of 14.2-kg each in a year, directly into the bank accounts of beneficiaries.

Mounting pressure on Airtel, the state-run oil companies had begun writing to the billionaire Sunil Mittal-led firm asking it to transfer back the LPG subsidy that got credited to its payment bank accounts.

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