NRIs are not entitled to have Aadhaar, says Indian embassy in Oman

Muscat: Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) are not entitled to an Aadhaar Card and do not require it for filing tax returns or anything else, the Indian embassy in Muscat said.

In a statement, the embassy has said that the government of India has clarified that non-resident Indians are not entitled to have the government’s unique ID card, the Aadhaar Card.

“The issue of Aadhaar Card has been raised by non-resident Indians staying in Oman. In a recent order, the government of India has decided that the non-resident Indians will not be required to quote Aadhaar Card Number in their income-tax returns filed in India due to income from Indian sources,” the statement said.

The government has clarified that though as per Section 139AA of the Income-tax Act, 1961 as introduced by the Finance Act, 2017, it is mandatory to quote Aadhaar / Enrolment ID of Aadhaar application form for filing of return of income and for making Permanent Account Number (PAN) with effect from July 1, 2017, such mandatory quoting of Aadhaar or Enrolment ID shall apply only to a person who is eligible to obtain Aadhaar number.

As per the Aadhaar Act, only a resident Indian is entitled to obtain Aadhaar Card and the requirement to quote Aadhaar Card number shall not apply to an individual who is not a resident in India.

The embassy statement also added that it is obvious that the requirement to provide Aadhaar Card Number in respect of other matters will also not be applicable in respect of non-resident Indians since they are not entitled to an Aadhaar Card.

Earlier in the day, a senior official from the Indian embassy in Muscat said that Aadhaar cards are not mandatory for Class X and XII Indian students in Oman appearing for exams this year.

“It is optional. We contacted the Central Board of School Examination (CBSE) officials in India. They have referred us to a CBSE circular issued in September 2016. It says that Aadhaar card is optional,” the embassy official said.

Following a report published in an English daily, stating that Aadhaar cards are mandatory for Class X and XII Indian students, Indian parents were led to believe that they would face flying to India to obtain Aadhaar cards for their children to sit exams in Oman.

The news report cited a circular issued by Indian School Muscat and quoted an official from the Indian School Board anonymously.

The ISM’s circular (http://ismoman.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/CIRCULAR-05041700.pdf) asks all students of Class IX to XII to get an Aadhaar Card, which will be required for online registration for board exams.

The notice reads that the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has made an Aadhaar number mandatory for Class IX to XII online registration which will be done in August/September 2017.

“Parents are expected to enrol their wards for the Aadhaar registration process during the forthcoming summer holidays or earlier and get an Aadhaar number. Parents of students studying in other classes also can do the Aadhaar registration for their wards during the next summer holidays,” the circular stated.