Government working on a plan to ensure e-PAN approvals in less than 10 minutes

The Income Tax department is working on a plan to establish a real-time PAN processing centre.

In a bid to make the process of getting a Permanent Account Number (PAN) card simpler, the Income Tax department is now planning on allotting e-PAN cards to applicants which will be processed within a span of 10 minutes.

As per a report by LiveMint, the Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Singh Thakur informed the Lok Sabha that the government is chalking out a plan to make a PAN/TAN processing centre which will allot e-PANs in roughly 10 minutes.

Addressing the Lok Sabha, Thakur said, "Real Time PAN/TAN Processing Centre (RTPC) is being contemplated for future with the objective of allotment of e-PAN through Aadhaar based e-KYC on near to real-time basis."

Government working on a plan to ensure e-PAN approvals in less than 10 minutes

Physical PAN card. Image: tech2

Back in December 2018, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had issued a notification stating that electronically issued PAN cards in PDF format with a QR code are valid PAN cards.

From what we understand of Thakur's statement, electronic PAN Cards (e-PAN) will be issued by the Income Tax department using e-KYC. Sent by email, e-PAN is a digitally signed document that can be submitted as proof of identity to other agencies electronically — a lot like how Aadhaar cards are generated online.

The use of Aadhaar based e-KYC, however, means that the facility will only be available to Indian citizens having a valid Aadhaar card.

The time taken for allotment of regular PAN cards is also expected to come down as the IT department continues to try and update the allotment processes and infrastructure.

The Minister of state for finance also mentioned that steps are being taken by the Income Tax department to further reduce the time required to allot PAN, particularly for applicants applying through the Aadhaar-based e-KYC route.

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