Bharti Airtel has offered to return Rs 190 crore subsidy to the payment bank accounts of 31 lakh mobile phone subscribers.
In a statement, Airtel wrote to National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) today, the top mobile operators promised to return Rs 190 crore (along with interest) to the consumers’ original bank accounts that were linked to the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), the sources familiar with the development told PTI.
NPCI is an umbrella organisation for all retail payments in India.
Both Airtel and Airtel Payments bank came under fire after Airtel allegedly opened accounts of its mobile phone subscribers without seeking their “informed consent”, and LPG subsidy worth crores was being deposited to these accounts.
The government acted swiftly in the matter and the Unique Identification Authority of India, late last week, temporarily barred the company from conducting Aadhaar-based SIM verification of mobile customers using eKYC process and e-KYC of payments bank clients.
Suspending the ‘e-KYC licence key’, the Aadhaar issuing body UIDAI also ordered PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct an audit of Bharti Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank to ascertain if their systems and processes are in compliance with the Aadhaar Act.