The Aadhaar programme has now expanded to the insurance segment as well. The Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has said that it is mandatory to link Aadhaar for both life and general insurance, saying that the linking of the Aadhaar card due to amendments made to the Prevention of Money-Laundering rules (PMLA).
IRDAI said that these rules have “statutory force and, as such, Life and General Insurers (Including Standalone Health Insurers) have to implement them without awaiting further instructions.” Note that IRDAI has not set a deadline by when existing insurance policies will have to be linked by.
The deadlines for linking Aadhaar to mobile numbers is February 6, 2018, and bank accounts is December 31, 2017. Earlier this month, the RBI clarified its position on linking bank accounts to Aadhaar and said that PMLA rules will apply and as such Aadhaar cards need to be linked to bank accounts.
The Supreme Court (SC), which is hearing petitions against the expansion of the Aadhaar programme, has said that the deadlines for mobile phone and bank account linking will not change and asked banks and operators to make sure that they specify the deadline.
Note that last month, the centre had told the SC that it was willing to extend the deadline for linking Aadhaar to various government welfare schemes till March 31, 2018. However, even in this case no final decision or notification has been issued as yet. Around 135 government funded welfare schemes come under this.
No clarity for wallets
Note that the RBI also came out with revised guidelines for wallets in the country. While the guidelines mentioned that PMLA rules will apply, it does not specify explicitly that users have to link their Aadhaar for wallets. There is confusion among wallet players where they could perform regular KYC for users or if they have to perform Aadhaar eKYC. Last week, users started reporting that Paytm, the largest wallet player in India, degraded accounts with KYC to a lower limit and wanted them to re-verify themselves using Aadhaar KYC. More details from Srikanth’s blog post.