Government’s New SIM Card Rules Take Effect from December 1: What You Need to Know

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Government’s New SIM Card Rules Take Effect from December 1: What You Need to Know

In a significant development, the government’s new SIM card regulations, announced in August, are set to be enforced starting from this month. These regulations aim to introduce crucial changes, addressing concerns related to illegal activities, fraudulent practices, and the misuse of SIM cards. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the key modifications coming into effect:

1) Registration Process:

Under the revamped regulations, Point of Sale (PoS) agents must enter into agreements with telecom service providers to deter involvement in illegal activities. Failure to comply could result in a penalty of ₹10 lakh, along with a three-year termination of association with the telecom company.

Sellers are granted a 12-month window from December 1 to align with the new registration requirements. This move is expected to facilitate the identification and removal of unauthorized sellers from telecom systems.

2) KYC Rules:

The new rules mandate the submission of demographic details for acquiring or upgrading SIM cards. These details will be obtained by scanning the QR code on the Aadhar card. Importantly, a mobile number will only be reassigned 90 days after disconnection by the previous user.

The regulations also stipulate a comprehensive KYC process for SIM replacements, with a 24-hour bar on outgoing and incoming SMS facilities.

3) Bulk Buying of SIMs:

To combat digital fraud, the government prohibits the bulk sale of SIM cards. However, exceptions are made for connections related to businesses, corporates, or events, subject to individual KYC norms for each SIM card owner. Customers are still permitted to purchase up to 9 SIM cards with a single ID card.

Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw highlighted the intent behind these changes, emphasizing the need to curtail fraudulent calls stemming from the misuse of bulk SIM cards.

The decision to end the provision for bulk SIM card purchases reflects a strategic move toward enhancing security and preventing illicit activities in the telecommunications sector.

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