The UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) stated on its official Twitter handle that people would have to pay the GST only for updating the Aadhaar details and not for enrolment. The present charges for updating Aadhaar is Rs25. It will go up to Rs30 after the GST is levied on it.
“The GST will be levied on updating address, date of birth, gender, cellphone number, e-mail and biometric details. At present, a centre charges Rs25 for every update. The 18% GST on it would be Rs4.50. The authorities decided to round it off to Rs5 and charge people Rs30,” said a senior official of the district administration after consulting with the UIDAI.
Pune district’s nodal officer for Aadhaar Vikas Bhalerao said a circular on the revised fee would be issued to the agencies operating out of government offices. “The new rates will be implemented from the coming week since most of the machines are not operational at present because of a technical glitch,” said Bhalerao.
The post master-general of the Pune Region, Ganesh Sawaleshwarkar, told TOI that the post offices were updating the Aadhaar data but he had not received any circular from the district administration on levying the GST. “We will wait for instructions,” he said.
RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar wondered over levying 18% GST on a regular government activity. “The government is slowly making everything a business activity. Even for, RTI they charge 6.25% GST. The government should not charge citizens for these services,” he said.
UIDAI has launched a toll free helpline number to lodge complaints if any operator charges above Rs30 for updating the Aadhaar data. “Any citizen charged more than Rs30 should report the matter to the district collectorate or call the central toll free number of Aadhaar,” said Bhalerao.
Citizens can report such issues dialling 1947 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The government has made it mandatory to link the Aadhaar number with welfare schemes and official documents. The last date to link Aadhaar with bank accounts, PAN card and cellphone numbers is March 31.