New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Thursday has approved the promulgation of an Ordinance to allow voluntary use of Aadhaar as ID proof for opening bank account and procuring new sim card.
The Ordinance was however passed in the Lok Sabha, had it failed to pass through, the bill would have lapsed with the dissolution of the current Lok Sabha, PTI reports.
This Ordinance will now allow a child an option to exit from the biometric ID programme once he turns 18.
The Cabinet meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
This amendment also imposes heavy penalties for violation of norms set for the use of Aadhaar and violation of privacy as it also bans storing of core biometric information as well as Aadhaar number by service providers in cases of individuals who have voluntarily offered the national ID as a means of authentication.
“Aadhaar can be used as KYC on a voluntary basis under the Telegraph Act and PMLA rules. Any entity using Aadhaar will have to adhere to privacy guidelines,” Prasad said.
Services such as the opening of bank account, or procuring a new sim card shall not be denied to anyone who does not want to give their Aadhaar details.
The amendments will also “provide for 12-digit Aadhaar number and its alternate numbers to be generated” so that the actual number is concealed.
Heavy civil penalty of up to Rs 1 crore on entities that violate the provisions of the Aadhaar Act, with an additional fine of up to Rs 10 lakh per day in case of continuous non-compliance are few other proposed amendments.
Whereas unauthorised use of Aadhaar by a requesting entity or offline verification seeking entity shall be punishable with imprisonment of up to three years with a fine that may extend to Rs 10,000 or in case of a company with a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh.
The amendment also proposed to omit Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act relating to the use of Aadhaar by private entities.