The Himalayan Times, August 21, 2019
The government and private sector have come to an agreement that permanent account number (PAN) card is not necessary for commercial enterprises when making payments to employees who work on a daily wage basis and earn up to Rs 2,000 per day. However, workers whose daily wage exceeds Rs 2,000 must mandatorily have procured the PAN card to receive any kind of payments.
Meanwhile, employees receiving regular salaries must compulsorily acquire the PAN cards. Earlier, the government had introduced a mandatory provision requiring payments of more than Rs 1,000 or above through PAN from ongoing fiscal year.
The move had drawn immense criticism from the private sector citing that the provision was introduced without conducting sufficient groundwork. The private sector had suggested that the government needed to be flexible for a certain period and raise the minimum threshold for the PAN provision.
Later, the government had also formed a committee to analyse the private sector’s concerns regarding PAN under the coordination of Nirmal Hari Adhikari, joint secretary at the Ministry of Finance, along with members from the private sector and other related government agencies.
A joint meeting on Monday night decided to relax the provision and agreed to create awareness and organise training programmes related to PAN for commercial enterprises. As per the understanding, Inland Revenue Department (IRD) will coordinate the training and awareness programmes, among others.
The private sector had argued that it was impossible to implement the PAN provision in the construction sector and industries, as they employ thousands of Indians and unskilled workers, for whom it is not possible to obtain the PAN number.
The private sector had demanded that the minimum threshold for PAN be raised to Rs 7,000. However, this demand was not met.
In the meeting, the government and private sector representatives also agreed to form a permanent committee under the leadership of director general of IRD for facilitation and smooth implementation of vehicle and consignment tracking system (VCTS).
The government introduced both the PAN and VCTS provisions from the beginning of the current fiscal year. But, the private sector had refused to implement the system and demanded the government to review its decision. Later, the Ministry of
Finance had formed a committee to look into the matter.