SBI insists on Aadhaar for loan under Mudra

BENGALURU: Despite the Supreme Court reiterating that Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory, a nationalized bank is insisting that small entrepreneurs seeking assistance under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana produce Aadhaar card.

AM Muthillath, 36, a resident of Vidyaranyapura and owner of a garment unit, recently applied to the State Bank of India’s Jalahalli %East branch for assistance under Mudra (Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency) scheme.

However, his application was rejected as he did not have an Aadhaar card. This despite his having other recognized identity and address- proof documents.

He had applied for Rs 50,000 loan at 1% interest under the scheme.

Muthillath, who also runs an NGO, Sarvajana Bharat, said, “When the government and the judiciary clearly say procuring Aadhaar number is optional, why is the bank making it mandatory? Isn’t it a violation of the SC ruling?” When contacted, Rajni Mishra, chief general manager of SBI-Bengaluru circle, said they are only following the rules set by the Union government.

“Those seeking assistance under Mudra scheme need to have an Aadhaar number and that’s mandatory,” she said.

Somashekar VK, managing trustee of Grahak Shakti, a consumer’s right forum, terms the SBI decision a blunder. “Linking Aadhaar to public services is not mandatory yet.

The government continues to violate the Supreme Court ruling on the same.

People who are told can get a written statement from the bank and seek relief in the court of law. We are willing take up the matter forward,” he pointed out.