Usage of PAN (permanent account number) by companies as a common identifier for all digital systems of specified government agencies will help in expediting clearances and promote ease of doing business, a top official said on Thursday. The announcement regarding PAN was made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget speech on Wednesday. PAN is a 10-digit alphanumeric number allotted by the income tax department to a person, firm or entity. Secretary in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Anurag Jain termed the decision as reformative and transformative.
The announcement would take about one year for implementation as it needs changes in rules and integration of systems across different departments. He said an inter-ministerial committee had recommended this. "With this single business ID, all the databases across the board will get integrated. So this will further promote ease of applying to the national single window system," Jain told reporters here.
"Just put your common number, every data which is already there get populated automatically...This will also help us in creating common returns," he said. The secretary added that all the 13 departments dealing with business approvals and clearances like commerce, industry and environment, as well as all the 36 states and UTs have agreed for this. Sitharaman had said for those business establishments required to have a PAN, it will be used as the common identifier for all digital systems of specified government agencies. This will be facilitated through a legal mandate. She also stated that for obviating the need for separate submission of same information to different government agencies, a system of 'Unified Filing Process' will be set up.
Further, Jain said that funds have been allocated to infrastructure projects approved by the Network Planning Group (NPG), constituted under the PM Gati Shakti initiative. "Focus on capex will give a huge push to the demand for steel and cement," Jain added.