Dealing with notices from UIDAI, says Airtel; shares dip nearly 1% on BSE Sensex
Airtel has said that re-verification for mobile phones and the opening of Airtel Payment Bank Accounts are separate transactions and not linked.
- Clarification was sought from the telecom major after allegations that the company was using Aadhaar data to open Airtel Payments bank accounts.
- Airtel said mobile re-verification and Aadhaar were two separate transactions.
- Airtel's shares were marginally lower in the early trade session on BSE Sensex.
India’s telecom major confirmed on Friday that it is being probed by the statutory authority, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for violation of the Aadhaar Act.
“We confirm that the company is dealing with the notices received from the authority and is in the process of providing the response thereto,” Airtel said.
“We wish to clarify that the re-verification for mobile phones and the opening of Airtel Payment Bank Accounts are separate transactions and not linked,” the company added.
Clarification from the company was sought by Bombay Stock Exchange after a Times of India news report on Thursday said the operator was ‘opening Airtel Payments Bank accounts of customers surreptitiously.’
Shares of the company opened 0.67% lower at Rs 493.50 apiece on BSE Sensex. It quickly fell by 0.82% or 4.05 points to Rs 492.80 per share at 0945 hours.
In pre-open market session, with no bids, Airtel’s shares were trading flat at Rs 496.86 per share.
Airtel however clarified that it has been fully compliant with UIDAI requirements.
“We can however assure all concerned that as a responsible corporate we are fully compliant with the requirements of UIDAI and are taking steps to satisfy UIDAI of this position,” Airtel said.
Telecom operators have been asked by the Department of Telecommunications to re-verify existing subscriber base using Aadhaar details. The deadline to complete this is February 6, 2018.
Supreme Court of India is still hearing petitions against linking of mobile numbers and Aadhaar over privacy concerns.
A message was floating around on WhatsApp that Airtel and Vodafone have been enrolling people into the telcos’ payments bank upon linking Aadhaar to mobile numbers.
Vodafone was prompt to respond to the allegations that said, “We would like to clarify that these messages are factually incorrect and fabricated. Vodafone does not have a Payment bank but has a Payment app. No subsidies can be credited to the Vodafone M-Pesa mobile wallet, as it is not a bank,” Vodafone said on November 15.
“As a company that follows the highest standards of corporate governance, we are fully conscious of our disclosure obligations and can assure you that we will always act in consonance with these obligations,” Airtel said.
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