14,117 SIMs registered with one NID, says Tarana

Staff Correspondent

The government in its verification of SIM registration with national identity card has found that 14,117 SIM cards were registered with one NID and over 11,000 with anther NID, said telecom state-minister Tarana Halim on Tuesday.
She said one crore SIM cards of six mobile operators were checked with the Election Commission’s NID database and 75 per cent of them were found not registered properly.
‘Only 23.43 lakh SIM were registered properly out of this one crore. This is a very alarming picture,’ she told reporters at her office before a meeting with chief executive officers of the
mobile phone companies.
He said mobile phone companies would send SMS to users who need re-registration.
‘Who bought SIM before 2012, when the NID was introduced, will be sent SMS asking them to return SMS with their NID number and date of birth,’ she said.
The operators have to launch the biometric SIM verification system by December 16 and from November the operators have to start biometric system on a test basis, said Tarana.
Currently there are around 13 crore mobile phone users in the country and the government so far checked only 7 per cent of them, she added.
The mobile phone companies are now sending the data of their existing users to the EC for bulk verification following a ministry order.
After the verification is done, the EC will submit a report to the ministry with findings of faulty registration and the mobile phone companies and then inform the customers through SMS asking them to complete verification.
Since 2012, the mobile companies were supposed to activate a SIM card only after confirming the subscriber’s identity but for lack of NID access the operators cannot verify the information during a SIM registration.
The law enforcement agencies on various occasions requested the BTRC to streamline the SIM registration process but the progress remained sluggish due to lack of NID access by the mobile operators.

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