Euro Finmart carried out enrolment work for Aadhaar number at a housing society in Mumbai. Oriental Bank of Commerce, which appointed the agency, said the work was illegal. Finally after a call to the OBC CMD's office, the residents were issued registration acknowledgement receipts for their Aadhaar number
Close on the heels of Maharashtra's information technology (IT) department losing unique identification (UID) data of about three lakh people collected for the Aadhaar number scheme, here is a first person account about the registration mess. This also highlights the dubious games being played by agencies and registrars appointed by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) led by technocrat Nandan Nilekani.
A Moneylife reader registered for his Aadhaar number but could not even get acknowledgement receipt for the enrolment. In addition, when he raised the issue with top officials of the registrar, Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) and the agency, Euro Finmart, he claims to have received abusive calls!
Here is what Subhash Malviya, the Moneylife reader (name changed to protect the reader from further harassment) says…
The UID or Aadhaar registration was carried in our society during the last week of February 2013. The way the work was carried out by the agency was complete mess. The employees of the agency (Euro Finmart, I came to know later) used to arrive in the afternoon. They always used to walk in without any proper equipment, so residents used to provide it to them.
Some of the residents from our society were not even provided registration receipts from the agency. Without the registration receipt, it is very difficult to track the progress of issuance and delivery of the Aadhaar number.
One of my neighbours told me the name of the agency, Euro Finmart and the registrar, Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC). OBC was appointed by the UIDAI to carry out Aadhaar registration work across Maharashtra and it was the lender that appointed Euro Finmart to do the job on its behalf.
Since we were not given our registration acknowledgement receipts, on 27th February, I called up Euro Finmart's nodal officer on his mobile. In addition, I also sent him a mail. The officer promised to call back after checking the details. However, the call never came.
On the same day, I called Kamal Seth from Delhi who was the chief manager at OBC looking after the Aadhaar registration project. He clearly told me that the registration carried out by the agency (Euro Finmart) in our society was illegal as it was done outside the OBC branch. However, he assured that we would receive our registration receipts after he checks the details.
Following instruction from Mr Seth, another officer, Mr Mathews from OBC's regional office in Mumbai contacted me. He also gave the same assurance about the registration receipts.
Surprisingly, after my conversation with Mr Mathews, the registration work being carried out by Euro Finmart in our society was suddenly stopped.
After waiting to get registration receipts for over 15 days, on 14th March, I again called up Mr Seth. He repeated his assurance but nothing really happened till 26th March.
On 26th March, I called up the office of SL Bansal, chairman and managing director (CMD) of OBC, seeking assistance. The official on the other end asked me to send the details. Within hours after sending the details, several top officials from Euro Finmart and the chief manager from OBC called me assuring that we would receive our registration acknowledgement receipts soon.
Meanwhile, I also received some abusive calls from 'angry' employees claiming to be from the agency. Fortunately, I recorded all such calls and then showed it to the top officials from both the agency and the bank.
Finally, on 28th March the registration acknowledgement receipts were delivered in our society office.
It took me over a month and call to the CMD's office to get just the registration acknowledgement receipts for the Aadhaar number.
Later I checked the terms and conditions of the memorandum of understanding between OBC and UIDAI. As per the terms and conditions, OBC was supposed to supervise the enrolment work being carried out by the agency. But from my own experience, I can say, the bank failed to do its job. Not a single employee from OBC was present during the enrolment in our society. In addition, they kept quiet for over a month, until the matter reached their CMD's office.
It seems that OBC employees were protecting the agency for reasons best known to them. OBC is carrying the work with the agency for entire Maharashtra region. Imagine the plight of average citizens who cannot do the follow up. They would be in fix as all the cash subsidy depends on UID.
OBC has appointed Euro Finmart (L-1 bidder) and Shri Ram Raja Sarkar Lok Kalyan Trust (L-2 bidder) as empaneled agencies for UID enrolment in Maharashtra. Apparently, the L-2 bidder was asked to match the prices quoted by the L-1 bidder.
Inside story of the National Stock Exchange’s amazing success, leading to hubris, regulatory capture and algo scam