The Centre on Tuesday extended the deadline to link bank accounts with the Aadhaar number from December 31 to March 31 or six months from the day the account was opened, whichever is later. Earlier in the day, the government had withdrawn this deadline without specifying a new date in its notification.

The Finance Ministry said it made the decision “after considering various representations” and inputs from banks.

In an earlier notification, the words “by December 31, 2017” in the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005, were replaced with “by such date as may be notified by the Central Government”.

In June, the Narendra Modi government had introduced a new rule, making Aadhaar mandatory to open bank accounts. Existing bank account holders were asked to furnish their Aadhaar number by December 31, failing which their account would cease to be operational.

New accounts were required to submit Aadhaar details within six months of their opening. The six-month rule for new accounts remains.

Last week, the Centre told the Supreme Court that it was willing to extend the deadline to compulsorily link Aadhaar to avail services to March 31. The government also extended the deadline to link one’s Permanent Account Number with the biometric identification system by three months, to March 31.