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Airtel Payments Bank CEO steps down

Shashi Arora stepped down as CEO of Airtel Payments Bank Ltd. amid an ongoing controversy over the electronic know-your-customer licenses of the bank and its parent Bharti Airtel Ltd., Mint reported Dec. 22, citing a statement from the company.

Arora resigned to pursue opportunities outside of Bharti Airtel, the company said. Arora could not be immediately reached for comment, the publication reported.

The resignation came after the Unique Identification Authority of India allowed Bharti Airtel to resume Aadhaar-based e-KYC verification of subscribers. Prior to that, UIDAI on Dec. 15 suspended the e-KYC licenses of Airtel Payments Bank and Bharti Airtel, following allegations the company was opening payments bank accounts without the explicit consent of users. In addition, the company allegedly credited government subsidies into the accounts without the knowledge of users.

UIDAI took the decision to allow the company to resume Aadhaar-based e-KYC verification services after 1.38 billion rupees of funds under the direct benefit transfer scheme were credited back to the original accounts of 5.6 million beneficiaries, the publication reported. Meanwhile, the authority has asked India's central bank, the Department of Telecommunications and PricewaterhouseCoopers India to conduct an audit of the company.

As of Dec. 25, US$1 was equivalent to 64.05 Indian rupees.