Oil Companies Ask Airtel To Revert LPG Subsidy Payment

Oil Companies Ask Airtel To Revert LPG Subsidy Payment”

The UIDAI suspended the eKYC licence following the numerous reports from users that Airtel was opening bank accounts without the explicit consent of users using the Aadhaar data when they came to re-verify themselves.

On Monday, UIDAI had temporarily barred Bharti Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank from conducting Aadhaar linked e-KYC verification of SIMs and bank clients.

According to media reports, by the end of November, Airtel had transferred Rs. 167.77 crore of subsidy of almost 37.21 lakh customers to Airtel Payments Bank accounts.

Following the Airtel India-Aadhaar subsidy fiasco, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Tuesday has tightened the norms for mapping Aadhaar number to a different bank account.

"We can confirm that we have received an interim order from the UIDAI regarding temporary suspension of Aadhaar linked e-KYC services till their satisfaction on certain processes relating to Airtel Payment Bank's onboarding of customers", the company said in a statement.

The UIDAI said that the NPCI will allow over ride request to an Aadhaar holder only if it is accompanied by the name of their current bank on the APB mapper and confirmation from the requesting bank that it has obtained the requisite consent of the Aadhaar holder for switching to the requesting bank on the mapper.

"The government has taken a stern view of the entire issue and Airtel has been forced to return the amount to original bank account of these customers", said a government source who did not wish to be named.

In the aftermath of the Bharti Airtel case, where LPG subsidy of over 31 lakh users was deposited in Airtel Payments Bank accounts instead of their original bank accounts, the Unique Identification Authority of India on Tuesday chose to revamp the method as per which direct benefit transfers are made to beneficiaries using accounts linked with Aadhaar. The notification detailed the reason for the revamp of the process and went on to list the Bharti Airtel issue as well as general instances of last bank account authenticated becoming the subsidy receiving account.

The problem arose in light of the mandatory linking requirement of Aadhaar with bank accounts as the subsidy from the government started getting transferred to the bank account which was most recently linked to Aadhaar by the beneficiary and not the designated bank account.

Out of Rs167.72 crore of subsidy landing in unauthorised Airtel Payments Bank accounts, Rs88.18 crore of subsidy was transferred for 17.32 lakh consumers enrolled with Indian Oil Corp (IOC), over Rs40 crore subsidy belonged to 10.06 lakh consumers enrolled with HPCL and Rs39.46 crore to 9.8 lakh consumers of Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL), according to DNA citing a senior official.

The UIDAI further said that there have been complaints pertaining to customer verification. "We are in the process of taking appropriate steps in respect of the same".

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