Government authorities in India are preparing to link Aadhaar, the country’s national biometric ID program, to stock market investments, according to new reports.
It’s another facet of the central government’s attempt to use Aadhaar to curb fraud, with the idea in this case being that Aadhaar authentication for investors could help to prevent money laundering through the stock market; officials are concerned that some investors are using such investments to hide illicitly obtained capital and to evade taxes. As The Economic Times reports, officials with the Securities and Exchange Board of India have held informal meetings with “select market intermediaries” to consult about the idea.
The effort comes soon after India’s Supreme Court upheld the government’s right to link Aadhaar to citizens’ Permanent Account Numbers, effectively allowing for Aadhaar authentication for tax filings. (Though the small minority of Indian citizens who have not yet registered for Aadhaar are exempted.) And it comes ahead of a pending ruling from the Supreme Court on the essential constitutionality of Aadhaar, with the court having hinted that its ruling will not consider Aadhaar in violation of citizens’ privacy rights, a decision that could safeguard Aadhaar’s continuing expansion.
It isn’t yet clear when the stock market implementation would come into effect, and the central government has not yet made any official announcements concerning the plan.
August 14, 2017 – by Alex Perala