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NRIs urged to apply for Aadhaar Card

nazeem@khaleejtimes.com Filed on July 24, 2017 | Last updated on July 24, 2017 at 08.29 am
NRIs urged to apply for Aadhaar Card

The new rule will not affect expats who operate only NRE accounts


Non-resident Indians (NRIs) are advised to apply for the Aaadhar card to avail of state benefits and for hassle-free transactions in future.

According to a manager of the NRI section of State Bank of India (SBI), the government has not exempted Indian expats from the Aadhaar card.

Jose GL, NRI section manager at SBI's Varkala branch, Kerala, told Khaleej Times:

"My advice to NRIs is to apply for Aadhar Card, as there is a chance for the government to make it mandatory for expats as well. Without an announcement, the government has now asked everyone to link their Permanent Account Number (Pan) with Aadhaar, for income tax returns. There is no doubt that Aadhaar will become compulsory and beneficial for several transactions in the coming years."

The Indian government has recently issued a directive asking tax payers in the country to link their Pan with the Aadhar Card for filing tax returns.


Apply for Aadhar when you visit India

. Visit the nearest Aadhaar enrolment centre

. Submit your proof of ID and address

. Record your biometrics

. Receive an acknowledgment slip

. The card will be sent to registered address free of cost

This has created a lot of confusion among non-resident Indians (NRI) who are exempted from income tax returns. The new rule which came into effect from July 1, however, will not affect expats who operate only NRE accounts.

The SBI manager highlighted issues NRIs face without the Aadhaar card. Jose said: "There are several instances of NRI children getting rejected when applying for national eligibility and entrance tests to pursue higher education in India, just because they do not have Aadhaar."

As it is a common among Gulf expatriates to send their children back home for higher education, it's better to have Aadhaar card to avoid unnecessary problems, he added.

Moreover, the Narendra Modi-led government announced last week that it will amend a key law to grant NRIs the right to vote in elections. The central government on Saturday asked the Supreme Court of India two week's time to take a decision on having a new law to give the voting rights to NRIs.

If it happens, the government will make Aadhaar mandatory for NRIs to vote, as it has been introduced as a single official identity for all Indians.

As of now, the Aadhaar ID number will help people while applying for passports online, claiming subsidies on LPG, filing income tax returns, opening a bank account, receiving pension pay-outs and provident fund without going to the bank, and for all government subsidies.

As India braces for the Aadhaar Unique Identity Number system and the Modi government aims at sweeping reforms in government schemes for people from all walks of life, NRIs may soon need to hurry up and register.

nazeem@khaleejtimes.com

 

Nazeem Beegum





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