Aadhaar may become mandatory for buying shares, mutual funds

Aadhaar

Aadhaar may become mandatory for buying shares, mutual funds

After demonetisation, the government and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), plan to link Aadhaar card to financial market transactions, in an attempt to combat corruption and trim malpractices such as conversion of black money into white through the stock market.

You may soon need an Aadhaar card to bet on stock market and invest in mutual funds as the Indian Government and market regulator SEBI is planning to link the UID number with financial market transactions.

However, what is not clear at the moment is when the announcement will be made and whether or not Aadhaar will replace PAN to become the sole identification number.

The government, under the Finance Act 2017, made it mandatory for taxpayers to quote Aadhaar or enrolment ID of Aadhaar application form for filing of income tax returns.

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Two officials familiar with the developments, said the government understands that it will be hard to exclusively depend on Permanent Account Number (PAN) and it will not be enough to plug tax leaks.

However, the government still thinks that the PAN may not be enough to plug tax leakages in financial sector. It is also compulsory to link Aadhaar bank accounts and mobile phone numbers. A Sebi official spoke to the ET on the development and said: "We have been told that making Aadhaar compulsory is in the offing".

Numerous market participants said that although PAN is unique to every individual, it has not been successful in weeding out investors using the stock market to launder their money. The existing number also has to be linked with Aadhaar.

"It is important that the government replaces PAN and other identification documents with Aadhaar in financial markets and all other services to make it convenient for people", added Nirmal Jain.

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