Deadline to link bank a/cs to Aadhaar nears

Panaji: The Union ministry of finance has written to banks in Goa asking them to ensure that all bank accounts opened under the Pradhan mantri jan-dhan yojana(PMJDY) are linked to valid Aadhaar cards by June 30, 2016. The central government has asked banks to hold awareness drives and camps to ensure that the task is completed by the end of the month.

The department of financial services of the Union ministry of finance has asked banks and the state department of rural development to hold joint camps across the state to ensure that all Jan-Dhan bank accounts are seeded with Aadhaar numbers. PMJDY is a national mission for financial inclusion to ensure access to financial services, like, banking/savings and deposit accounts, remittance, credit, insurance and pension in an affordable manner.

Given that monsoons are around the corner and the short deadline looming, bankers in the state are in a rush to meet the deadline. “It is impossible to achieve (the deadline) in such a short time. There was always a directive to link Aadhaar cards to bank accounts. They are just trying to expedite the process and I don’t think they will keep to the deadline. It is simply not possible,” a representative of a major bank in Goa said.

This is not the first time that the Union government has sought to ensure 100% seeding of Aadhaar to the Jan-Dhan accounts. On February 12, assistant general manager for outreach at state bank of India (SBI) led a discussion on financial inclusion in the state where he urged banks to make efforts to ensure 100% Aadhaar seeding as 95% of Goa had already been covered by the Aadhaar project. Bankers had stated that seeding with Aadhaar had not been completed since customers held multiple bank accounts.

“Each bank will find its own way to meet the target. They can put out advertisements, go to panchayats,” a state bank of India official said.

The department of financial services has advised all banks to ensure that adequate publicity material, banners and posters are displayed at branches and bank mitraoutlets. It has also asked banks to coordinate with the department of rural development to complete the task.

“The state bankers have assured me that they will come up with a plan. We have all the equipment ready. If we put things in the right place and put the right people we can achieve it. It is possible,” director, department of rural development, Vassudev Shetye said.

Banks have also been asked to focus on seeding of mobile numbers in bank accounts in accordance with reserve bank of India (RBI) guidelines. “The state government has also been requested to send customized SMS to beneficiaries of various direct benefit transfer schemes,” a source said.

Banks in Goa have managed to seed 63.08% or 90,788 Jan-Dhan bank accounts to Aadhaar card numbers.