The new RBI governor has emphasised on using Aadhaar to build individual credit histories. Read on ....
Aadhaar card, with a 12-digit unique identification number is valid for life, and will serve as your proof of both identity and address, anywhere in India.
By using both demographic and biometric information (photograph, fingerprints and iris scan) to establish your identity, the card is meant to be fraud-proof.
So, it should come in handy for several transactions — from the simple ones such as booking travel tickets, to the not-so-simple, such as obtaining passports, opening bank accounts and getting telephone and gas connections.
ROUTE TO SUBSIDIES
1. More importantly, not having an Aadhaar card could pinch your pocket. The government is slowly but steadily rolling out the direct benefit transfer scheme across the country.
2. Under this, subsidy amounts on products and services provided by the government will be directly deposited into the bank accounts of those meant to get it – with the Aadhar number meant to serve as authentication of the intended beneficiary.
3. Direct transfer of subsidy on domestic gas cylinders has already started in some parts of the country. Under this, you have to pay the full market price for the cylinder (around Rs 930) and the government transfers the subsidy amount (Rs 550) directly to your bank account.
4. To get the subsidy, you are expected to link your Aadhar number to your bank account and domestic gas consumer number. At the moment, the government seems to be going back and forth on the prerequisite of linking the number to get the subsidy benefit. But this measure is likely to be implemented in right earnest once the dust settles.
5. There are proposals to make the use of the Aadhaar number compulsory in property transactions, for new entrants in the Employee Provident Fund scheme and to link the unique identification to the accounts of existing EPF members.
6. Your Aadhaar card should be useful in other ways too, if current suggestions are anything to go by. In his first speech as the new RBI Governor, Raghuram Rajan emphasised the use of Aadhaar in building individual credit histories.
7. What this means is that the borrowing and repayment records of individuals will be tracked and collated using the Aadhaar card. A good track record may help you get loans cheaper and quicker in the future, while a poor show will impede your chances.
The RBI governor also has plans to allow prepaid instruments issued by non-bank entities meet payment and remittance needs in rural areas. In this too, the card will play a key role.
HOW TO ENROL
The good news is that enrolling for it is free of cost, and rather simple. You need to go to any authorised centre with proof of identity and address, fill the enrolment form and provide the biometric information.
Even if you do not have the valid documents, it is possible to enrol with the help of introducers.
You can read the details of the enrolment process and search for the enrolment centres on the website of the Unique Identification Authority of India (http://uidai.gov.in/).
There is also a toll-free number 1800-300-1947 where you can get your doubts clarified. If you live in states where enrolment for the Aadhaar card is being handled by the National Population Register, look out for public announcements on the dates and venues of enrolment camps.