The unique identification authority on Thursday said the I-cards issued by it - known as Aadhaar - are a valid residence proof for opening a bank account.
Commenting on media reports that Aadhaar is not a valid residence proof, Unique Identification Development Authority of India (UIDAI) Chairman Nandan Nilekani said, "That is not true. That is some report which is misleading. Aadhaar is a valid 'Know Your Customer' (KYC) document for opening a bank account."
"Aadhaar letter has two parts - identity and address. If the address which a person shows to the bank, is the same address as on the (Aadhaar) letter, then it is also a proof of residence."
A section of media had reported that as per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notification issued on Wednesday, Aadhaar is not a valid residence proof. However, the central bank reportedly accepted its validity as identity of a person.
Nilekani said, "In a few days, we will be starting online authentication of address and identity. If the address matches through online authentication, then it will be treated as current address (of the person applied for a bank account or a service)."
Clearing air on the issue, he said: "The government is a set of institutions and all of them take their own decisions. As of now, the banking system has declared Aadhaar as a valid KYC norm for all bank accounts as per the RBI notification issued yesterday.."
He also said that the Department of Telecom and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas also consider Aadhaar as valid KYC for issue of sim cards and cooking gas connections.