If you thought getting an Aadhaar or unique identification (UID) number is necessary only for poor households that need government sops, think again. Middle class as well as high-income Indians with salaried jobs and pensioners may need a UID number to tap their retirement savings from 2013.
In a directive issued on December 20, the labour ministry has told the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to “embed” the Aadhaar number in bank accounts of beneficiaries in 43 districts by December 31.
“There is an urgent need to seed (or embed) Aadhaar numbers in the (bank) accounts of beneficiaries who receive benefits under the various schemes of EPFO,” says the communication from the union labour ministry.
“The ministry has decided that seeding of Aadhaar numbers of beneficiaries be completed by December 31, 2012, for 43 districts, and for beneficiaries in other districts as early as possible,” it added. The schemes administered by EPFO include provident fund and pension.
The directive has sent EPFO officials across the country into a tizzy as it already pays benefits directly into bank accounts of employees.
Almost 85% of EPFO payments are made via the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) programme.
PF offices have been asked to give “utmost priority” to obtaining Aadhaar numbers and savings bank account details of every employee in the 43 districts, which include Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Mysore and parts of Delhi, by December 31.
But it is unclear from the wording of the circular as to what would happen if an employee does not possess an Aadhaar number. There is also no mention of what PF officials must do if employees have no Aadhaar numbers.
Source: Economic Times