Highlights

  • Tightened PoS agreements for agents, penalties up to ₹10 lakh.
  • Mandatory Aadhar-based details for new SIM card activations.

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New SIM card rules from Dec 1 to tighten security, mandate KYC compliance

Introduced in August, these regulations aim to revamp SIM card sales, combating fraud and enhancing sector accountability.

New SIM card rules from Dec 1 to tighten security, mandate KYC compliance

Come December 1, significant changes in the telecom services are set to take effect as the government's new SIM card rules roll out. These regulations, announced back in August, are designed to overhaul the sale and usage of SIM cards, aiming to curb fraudulent activities and ensure better accountability within the sector.

Here's what to expect:

1. Registration Process Tightening: Point of Sale (PoS) agents are required to formalize agreements with telecom service providers or licensees to deter involvement in illicit activities. Failure to comply could result in penalties up to ₹10 lakh and a three-year suspension from association with the telecom company.

2. Mandatory KYC Compliance: Purchasing or activating a new SIM card demands demographic details, obtained by scanning the Aadhar card's QR code. A new mobile number will only be assigned 90 days post disconnection by the previous user. Full KYC processes are mandatory for SIM replacements, with a 24-hour freeze on incoming and outgoing SMS facilities.

3. Curbing Bulk SIM Sales: Bulk sales of SIM cards are prohibited to prevent digital fraud. However, exceptions exist for businesses, corporates, or events, subject to individual KYC norms. While buying up to nine SIM cards under one ID remains permissible, the bulk buying provision stands nullified.

The implementation of these rules aims to root out rogue sellers, identify fraudulent activities promptly, and tighten security measures within the telecom industry. Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw emphasized the necessity of these changes, highlighting how the discontinuation of bulk SIM card sales would put a stop to fraudulent calls previously enabled by this provision.

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