Providing relief to many, the government has extended the deadline for mandatory Aadhaar linking with bank accounts to March 31, 2018, in its latest notification. Earlier, the government amended Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005, which was notified in June 2017, requiring you to link your Aadhaar with your various investments such as bank account, insurance and mutual funds by December 31, 2017.
It was expected that the Finance Ministry would announce a new deadline as it came up with a new notification on December 12, stating that an amendment would allow bank account holders to submit their Aadhaar numbers and Permanent Account Numbers or Form No. 60 by "such date as may be notified by the Central Government".
As the government has notified the new date as March 31, for existing bank account holders, the new deadline for linking Aadhaar with their bank accounts and other financial institutions stands extended until March 31, 2018.
The new notification says, "After considering various representations received in this regard and inputs received from banks, it has been decided to notify March 31, 2018, or six months from the date of commencement of account-based relationship by the clients, whichever is later, as the date of submission of the Aadhaar number and Permanent Account Number or Form 60 by the clients to the reporting entity."
The notification clarifies that in case of opening a bank account, Aadhaar number will have to be submitted at the time of opening the account or within six months of opening the account as per the amended Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) rules.
The notification also states if the existing account holders do not submit Aadhaar as per the date notified by the government, which is now March 31, 2018, the accounts will cease to be operational. It says, "In case a client, already having an account-based relationship with reporting entities prior to the date of publication of this notification in the Official Gazette, fails to submit the Aadhaar number and Permanent Account Number by such date as may be notified by the Central Government, the said account shall cease to be operational till the time the Aadhaar Number and Permanent Account Number are submitted by the client".
NRIs and overseas citizens of India are exempted from producing Aadhaar for any verification.
In October, the Reserve Bank of India had clarified a reply made by it in response to an RTI query regarding Aadhaar linking with bank accounts.
In a press release, it said, "The Reserve Bank clarifies that in applicable cases, linkage of Aadhaar number to a bank account is mandatory under the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017, published in the Official Gazette on June 1, 2017. These rules have statutory force and, as such, banks have to implement them without awaiting further instructions. Subsequently, the insurance regulator also asked all policyholders to link their policies by December 31.