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New SIM Card Regulations Effective January 1: Non-Compliance May Result in 3-Year Jail Term

New SIM Card Regulations Effective January 1: Non-Compliance May Result in 3-Year Jail Term

   

It has been reported that the Indian government is gearing up to change the rules regarding the purchase and sale of SIM cards. The decision has been taken after witnessing the rising cases of spam, scams and online fraud which were witnessed this year- 2023. The new regulation will be implemented from January 1, 2024, by bringing significant changes to the SIM card acquisition process.

New rule to save users from online fraud

As smartphone usage has upscaled in India, online fraud and scams have upscaled and have seen a parallel increase. The government has been taking a decisive stance to curb these issues.

As per the new Telecommunication Bill, individuals who will be found purchasing fake SIM cards will be facing severe consequences and the offenders will further be subjected to a jail term of up to 3 years and a fine worth Rs 50 lakh.

Mandatory biometric details for verification

Telecom companies will now collect biometric data which will be mandated for every customer who is purchasing a SIM card. The inclusion of biometric details is a measure to safeguard fraudulent SIM card transactions and ensures strict action against the offenders.

Digital KYC 

From January 1, 2024, SIM cards will be exclusively available through digital Know Your Customer (KYC) processes in India. This shift will aim at enhancing the verification system and minimising the risk of unauthorized SIM card transactions.

Verification system overhaul

The new regulations will make it mandatory for SIM vendors to undergo verification. Bulk distribution of SIM cards will no longer be allowed from the year ahead, and only those with commercial purposes will be liable to get the bulk SIM.

Mandatory registration for telecom franchisees

Registration of telecom franchisees, point-of-sale agents and SIM distributors has become compulsory. Non-compliance with the new telecom regulations may result in heavy fines, with penalties which might cost up to Rs 10 lakh imposed on dealers who disregard the rules.

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