UID could be used to open bank accounts

UID could be used to open bank accounts

60 crore people will be covered in next five years, says Nilekani

Maintaining that the UID now is completely voluntary Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Chairman Nandan Nilekani said it would not confer any citizenship rights. However, the government may make it an essential prerequisite for getting services like opening bank accounts or filing income tax returns and the number will be displayed on all documents, to be used for establishing the identity of a citizen.

The UID scheme, which is expected to roll out the first number in 12-18 months, will be first conferred on the beneficiaries of the Centre’s flagship programme under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. Nilekani said the number will become “pervasive and ubiquitous” in future.

“When you to get a passport, they will say where is your UID number, when you go to get a driving licence, they will say where is your UID number, when you go to pay tax, they will say where is your UID number, you go to open a bank account, they will say where is your UID number. Sooner or later you will have to get your UID number,” Nilekani said.

Nilekani said talks are already on with various agencies and ministries and that “everybody is ready to partner with us on this and use our UID number in their database.”

He said that UID will also help to check black money and result in higher tax collections as it will become difficult to have duplicate accounts.

Strengthening security

“Once the bank accounts start having the UID, then you can’t keep unaccounted money in the banking system. The UID will sort of act as a check on keeping black money and all that. It will also strengthen security,” he said. Nilekani said it will take “years and not one day” for the entire process to change. He said about 600 million of the about 1.2 billion population will be covered under the project in the next five years.

Ubiquitous usage

*UID will check black money and make for higher tax collection
*UID does not confer any citizenship rights
*Govt might make it mandatory to get services like filing income tax returns
*Number would be displayed on all documents, which can be used to establishing citizen identity
*UID will be first given to beneficiaries of NREGS