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Hasan, Asghar, Rashid fined 15 per cent of their match fees        Ready to be sacked if ATK do not fare well: Coppell        Sensex ends in red after 1,000-pt flash crash        OYO to hire over 2,000 tech experts, engineers by 2020        Thousands rally across Russia against raising pension age        Pak PM Imran hits out at India, calls its response "arrogant" for cancelling talks        Sisodia, AAP MLAs discharged in case related to 2014 protest        We have no role in selection of Reliance Defence for Rafale deal: Govt        Modi, Ambani carried out Rs 1.3 lakh cr 'surgical strike' on defence forces: Rahul on Rafale issue        Chekka Chivantha Vaanam: Second trailer released        Golden Globe Race: Indian Navy Officer Abhilash Tomy injured; INS Satpura dispatched for rescue        India Calls Off Talks With Pak, Says "Imran Khan's True Face Exposed"        Indian govt wanted Reliance for Rafale, we didn't have a choice: Ex-French prez Hollande        Wreckage of Captain Cook’s ship found off US coast        Death toll reaches 136 in Tanzania ferry disaster with scores missing        Ravindra Jadeja, Rohit Sharma take India to comprehensive 7-wicket win        Naomi Osaka Eases into WTA Tokyo Event Semi-final        Let the boundaries go away: Pakistani youth sings Jana Gana Mana with full respect        Three kidnapped cops killed by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir        Freak penne trending with dislikes and trolls        
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Business News
Will return Rs 190-crore subsidy to original a/cs, Airtel informs NPCI
 
(New Delhi, Dec 18, 2017):Bharti Airtel, under fire over the alleged misuse of Aadhaar-based eKYC mechanism to open accounts in Airtel Payments Bank, on Monday wrote to the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), saying it will return around Rs 190 crore in LPG subsidy that was deposited in the payments bank accounts of an estimated 31 lakh subscribers.

Earlier on Monday, state-owned oil marketing companies wrote to Airtel asking the company to either deposit the money into the original accounts of the direct benefit transfer (DBT) beneficiaries, or return it back to the oil firms.

“As per government rules, DBT subsidy goes to latest Aadhaar linked bank account. Customers can withdraw this at any of our designated outlets. No charges for such withdrawals are levied. Having said that, given that some customers have experienced inconvenience of not being aware of which Bank account the DBT has gone to, we are fully committed to resolving this immediately. We are in the process of taking appropriate steps in respect of the same,” an Airtel Payments Bank spokesperson said in response to a query sent by The Indian Express.

The issue was first came to light in September when certain beneficiaries of LPG subsidy stopped receiving the money in their bank accounts, and instead started receiving it in their Airtel Payments Bank accounts. Following this, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) began investigating the issue and alleged that Airtel, along side re-verifying its existing subscribers through Aadhaar-based eKYC, was also opening accounts in the payments bank without the “informed consent” of the customers. Late last week, UIDAI temporarily suspended the eKYC licence key given to Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank, effectively disallowing the telecom operator from conducting Aadhaar-based authentication in the interim, pending an audit of its systems by a private firm to ascertain if they conformed with the Aadhaar Act.

The Department of Telecommunications has mandated all telecom operators to re-verify all existing subscribers using Aadhaar-based eKYC by February 6, 2018. According to a senior government official, the UIDAI has suspended the e-KYC licence key, used for reaching out to the authority’s servers to authenticate the identity of any user, temporarily. The key was given to Bharti Airtel Ltd and Airtel Payments Bank Ltd under the Authentication User Agency Agreement signed between the companies and UIDAI in February 2015 and September 2016, respectively. The official said that after the UIDAI received reports of Airtel allegedly opening payments bank accounts without user consent, it ordered an investigation over the incident. However, after repeated responses by Airtel to UIDAI’s notices, which the authority found to be “unsatisfactory”, it suspended Airtel’s access to the keys.

With an aim of controlling leakage of subsidies, the government pays subsidy equivalent to buying 12 LPG cylinders of 14.2-kg each in a year, directly into the bank accounts of beneficiaries. Unlike in the past, LPG now is only available at market price. Beneficiaries get subsidy for one cylinder in advance and are replenished the moment they use it up to buying LPG refill.

“In many cases across the three oil marketing companies (IOCL, BPCL and HPCL), the Aadhaar linking of LPG consumers has got changed in the NPCI mapper to Airtel Bank and hence the LPG subsidy is getting sent to the new bank account in Airtel Bank,” a statement released by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd said. “In order to link LPG subsidy to earlier bank accounts, HPCL has written to Airtel Bank and requested that the subsidy amounts of these consumers be immediately either transferred back to the customer’s earlier bank account or to the respective OMCs,” it added.

According to a government official, if found in contravention of provisions of the Aadhaar Act, which mandate taking explicit consent of the individual, Airtel could be punished with the penalty of Rs 1 lakh per day and termination of the authentication user agreements. The final decision will be taken by UIDAI once the aforementioned audit is concluded.


Sensex ends in red after 1,000-pt flash crash
OYO to hire over 2,000 tech experts, engineers by 2020
Sensex recovers over 100 points on value-buying, global cues
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SBI hikes benchmark lending rate by 0.2 pc
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IBA elects PNB's Sunil Mehta as chairman
Circular Trades: Sebi imposes fine of Rs 16 lakh on two individuals
India expected to surpass Britain to become world's 5th largest economy next yr: FM
DeMo led to more tax collection, higher growth: Jaitley
KERALA NEWS
Kannur International Airport: Kerala to be the first state with four international airports
 Malappuram: With Kannur International Airport becoming operational, Kerala will be the first state i  
Bar bribery case: Court dismisses the vigilance report
State Kalolsavam to be held in December
Actor Captain Raju passes away at 68
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Thousands rally across Russia against raising pension age
 Moscow, Sep 22 (AP) Thousands rallied across Russia on Saturday to protest the government's plan to
Pak PM Imran hits out at India, calls its response "arrogant" for cancelling talks
Wreckage of Captain Cook’s ship found off US coast
Death toll reaches 136 in Tanzania ferry disaster with scores missing
NATIONAL NEWS
Sisodia, AAP MLAs discharged in case related to 2014 protest
 New Delhi Sep 22 (PTI) A Delhi court on Saturday discharged Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, AA
We have no role in selection of Reliance Defence for Rafale deal: Govt
India Calls Off Talks With Pak, Says "Imran Khan's True Face Exposed"
Indian govt wanted Reliance for Rafale, we didn't have a choice: Ex-French prez Hollande
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