The first budget of the second term of Modi government is expected to set the tone for policymaking for the next five years. In her maiden budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman assured quick issuance of Aadhaar cards for Non Resident Indians (NRIs) holding Indian passports.
The Finance Minister stated in her budget speech, “I propose to consider issuing Aadhaar Card for Non Resident Indians with Indian passports after their arrival in India, without waiting for the mandatory 180 days.” The move shall benefit millions of NRIs who can now get Aadhar cards after arrival and without the previous waiting period.
#Aadhaar card for NRIs with Indian passports to be issued after their arrival in India, without waiting for the mandatory 180 days: FM @nsitharaman #BudgetForNewIndia #Budget2019 pic.twitter.com/XC4KlNUFU1
— PIB India (@PIB_India) July 5, 2019
According to the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, only a resident who has resided in India for a period of 182 days or more in 12 months could apply for Aadhaar. According to the existing rules, NRIs holding an Indian passport are required to wait for 182 days to get an Aadhaar card, which contains a 12-digit unique identification number issued by UIDAI. In other words, the NRIs are required to live in the country for a period of 182 days in a year, before they are eligible to apply for an Aadhaar card. The finance minister has sought to eliminate the long waiting period in the budget proposal.
This primarily concerns those Non Resident Indians who have sources of income in the country. In order to file income tax returns on these investments, the Nirmala Sitharaman declared in the budget speech that Aadhaar card can now be used in place of the PAN card; thus, simplifying the matter and improving ease of doing business. Now that an Aadhaar card will be immediately available to the NRIs, it will be very convenient to handle the finances. Moreover, this will enable the NRIs to get jobs in the government sector as soon as they come back to India, rather than waiting. Also, the Non Resident Indians can receive all the benefits of government schemes, including, social security.
To encourage investment from the NRIs, Nirmala Sitharaman also stated in her budget scheme, “To provide Non-resident Indians seamless access to Indian equities, NRI portfolio investment route is to be merged with foreign portfolio investment route.”