To push PM Modi's Digital India drive, the Central Board of Direct Taxes is working on issuing the Permanent Account Number (PAN) instantly using Aadhaar's e-KYC facility, reports the Times of India.
The e-KYC allows the user to verify details through a biometric identification features.
Quoting an official from the concerned department, the report said that the new decision will minimise the whole process to few minutes from the existing time span of two to three weeks. The officer said,"If a SIM can be issued through e- KYC, then the same can be done for PAN". He also added that though the number will be granted instantly but the card delivery will take time.
The Income Tax Department is also mulling over the option of developing a smartphone app so that the citizens can pay their taxes on the go. The same app will also allow them to track their returns and an option to apply for PAN card.
Last month, the Government decided to issue newly designed PAN (Permanent Account Number) cards that have added security features to make them tamper-proof and with contents written in both Hindi and English.
The distribution of new-look PAN cards, being printed by NSDL and UTIITSL (UTI Infrastructure Technology and Services Ltd), started since January 1. The cards are being issued to new applicants but existing ones can also apply.
"The distribution of new PAN cards kicked off on January 1. However, these are only for the fresh lot of PAN card applicants," the official said.
PAN cards are mandatory for any transaction above Rs 2 lakh and as identity proof for a lot of other activities such as opening a bank account. There are currently more than 25 crore PAN card holders in the country.
As per government estimate, every year 2.5 crore people across the country apply for PAN cards.