EPFO defers plan for mandatory Aadhaar numbers

The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has decided to put off a plan to make Aadhaar numbers mandatory for new entrants to the scheme from March 1, after facing problems in enrolment.

"In view of discussions held with UIDAI officials and the time required in the process of obtaining Aadhaar numbers, it may not be possible to obtain Aadhaar numbers/ Aadhaar Enrolment number by EPF members by March 1, 2013. Therefore, it has been decided not to make it mandatory from March 1, 2013," said a circular issued by the EPFO on Wednesday.

Swarup has however, directed field offices to get the Aadhaar numbers of members who have already enrolled for it. The EPFO was keen to ride the UID platform to give permanent account numbers to all its subscribers that would be used independently of the employer. The rationale was to cut down on multiple accounts of members as well as to reduce its own workload, much of which is devoted to processing claims for transfer of accounts.

During discussions with the UIDAI, it emerged that agency through its registrars was organising enrolment camps in only 18 states. In the remaining states, the Registrar General of India is collecting data for the National Population Register (NPR). Although the NPR data can be used to issue Aadhaar cards, it would take considerable time, which prompted the EPFO to defer the move.

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