Govt launches measures to check fraudulent calls, bulk SIM cards issuance

New Delhi (IANS) The government on Thursday unveiled two significant measures to prevent fraudulent calls and stop issuance of bulk SIM cards. Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has said that reporters that now police verification is being made mandatory for SIM card dealers and there will also be a biometric verification for them.

The Minister told reporters that the registration of dealers at the point of sales has been made compulsory, which will make dealers who sell SIM cards, accountable for any kind of fraud. 

In another major step, the government will discontinue bulk buying of SIM cards, the minister informed further, adding that a penalty of Rs 10 lakh will be imposed on those found violating these guidelines. 

Vaishnaw said that after a detailed study of several bulk connections, it was decided to do away with bulk connection system. 

“It will be mandatory for new dealers of mobile SIM cards to undergo a police verification and biometric verification. Registration will also be compulsory for all point-of-sale dealers now,” Vaishnaw said. 

He further informed that since the launch of Sanchar Saathi portal in May this year, the government detected and deactivated 52 lakh connections which were fraudulently obtained. 

Also 67,000 dealers engaged in selling mobile SIM cards have been blacklisted, Vaishnaw said, adding that FIRs have been lodged against 300 SIM card dealers since May 2023. 

The minister informed media persons that earlier people used to buy mobile SIM cards in bulk. 

However, it has now been decided to end this provision and in its place, a proper business connection provision will be brought in, which will help in stopping fraudulent calls. 

Vaishnaw said there are 10 lakh SIM card dealers, who will be given adequate time to undergo police verification. 

The Telecom Ministry has also stopped issuing bulk connections and in its place, a new provision of business connection will be brought in, he added. 

“Besides KYC of businesses, KYC of the person acquiring the SIM card will also be done,” Vaishnaw said. 

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