The government has asked banks to keep a record of Aadhaar and mobile numbers of all central government pensioners as a part of a drive to provide digital life certificates to them and ensure easy disbursement of pension.
The Centre has also emphasised on a special drive by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to ensure that all central government pensioners get Aadhaar, a 12-digit unique identification number which acts as a proof of identity and address, anywhere in the country.
The move is a part of government’s initiative of providing ‘Aadhaar based digital life certificate for pensioners’.
A meeting was held recently with representatives of various banks by Secretary, (Pension), under Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, on matters related to the implementation of digital life certificate scheme, which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 10.
Pensioners can now digitally provide proof of their existence to authorities for continuity of pension every year instead of requiring to present themselves physically or through a life certificate issued by designated authorities.
“They (banks) were also informed that all banks are required to collect mobile numbers and Aadhaar numbers of the pensioners under the e-KYC norms, as it is an important ingredient of the ‘Digital India’ initiative of the government.
“Secretary (Pension) emphasised that this is being monitored in the government at the highest level, since for policy purpose, data of pensioners is very important, including where they are located.
“As the banks are at the forefront in respect of Information Technology, hence all the banks could easily complete the task within the time-limits prescribed,” according to the minutes of the meeting.
There are about 50 lakh central government pensioners.
The banks were informed that compilation of pensioners’ data will be a regular feature and it will be reviewed at least once every year, the minutes said.
“They were advised to obtain Aadhaar number and mobile number from any transaction made by the pensioner and cross-populate the pensioner’s database with it.
“They should also circulate to the pensioners to intimate their Aadhaar numbers at the earliest possible and take initiative in coordination with the UIDAI to get Aadhaar numbers issued on priority to those pensioners who as yet have not received one,” it said.
The Department of Financial Services (DFS) has also been asked to ensure that all account numbers in the banks stand be converted into 16 digit numbers immediately, so as to facilitate easy conversion.
The matter of issuance of remarriage certificate was also discussed during the meeting.
“It was agreed to introduce self certificate in view of recent measures taken by Government of India,” the minutes said. Concerned authorities was asked to ensure that necessary upgradation is done in the software made for the purpose of issuing digital life certificates for pensioners. “A similar logic would apply to re-employment certificate,” it said.
The DFS agreed to issue a circular to the banks stating that digital life certificate is not mandatory but is an additional option for the pensioner.
It was agreed that adequate publicity be given throughout the country and particularly in the remote areas of the country regarding the digital life certificate scheme.
Thus, the advertisement prepared by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology shall be given due publicity by the railways and the banks, so as to reach the pensioner in the interiors of the country, the minutes said.