With less than a month left for the deadline to link your Permanent Account Number (PAN) and bank accounts to biometric identifier Aadhar, over 16.65 crore PAN cards, and 87.79 crore bank accounts have been linked to the 12-digit unique identity number, the government informed the Parliament on March 9.
"As on March 5, the number of Aadhaar cards linked with PAN is 16,65,82,421. Further, as on March 2, 87.79 crore current accounts and savings accounts have been linked with Aadhaar," minister of state for finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
As on March 2, a total of 6,811 Aadhaar enrolment or updating centers were operational in bank branches, a PTI report said.
In a move to track the unaccounted wealth in India, the government had made it compulsory to link Aadhaar with PAN and bank account. Banks have been alerting their customers to link their Aadhaar number to the bank accounts by March 31, 2018.
Linking mobile sim cards to Aadhaar has also been made mandatory to establish the identity of mobile phone users.
As the last date (March 31) for linking Aadhaar with all customer bank accounts nears, the industry chamber Assocham on Sunday urged the government to extend the deadline.
The process of linking the bank account with Aadhaar can be done online through net banking or offline by visiting the bank and submitting the Aadhaar linking request form.
Making Aadhaar compulsory for various services and welfare schemes had stirred protests and many raised the question of privacy. However, the government had dismissed the concerns over privacy as unwarranted and assured that the Aadhar data will remain secure.
Sharing of information or seeding of Aadhaar information with the authorized agencies is governed by the Aadhaar Act, PTI reports. Additionally, the Act also lays down penalties and imprisonment for unauthorized sharing of residents' identity information, it said.