'Govt to give 3-6 months for Aadhaar-PAN linkage, if SC rules in favour'

Published On: 03, Dec 2017 | Source: business-standard.com

The will give three-six months to link the biometric identifier Aadhaar with in case the apex court rules in its favour, after which it may cancel all PANs that have not been linked, a senior official has said.

The cancellation will weed out all duplicate PANs and make benami transactions void, the official said.

The current deadline for linking the 10-digit alphanumeric (Permanent Account Number), issued by the Department, with Aadhaar is December 31.

The has indicated to the that it is willing to extend this deadline to March 31, 2018.

The official said that in the event of the apex court upholding the position of making linking of with Aadhaar mandatory and agreeing with the proposed deadline, a 3-6 month grace period would be given to allow all to do the linking.

As of November, 13.28 crore out of 33 crore PANs have been linked to the 12-digit Aadhaar, he said.

"The linking exercise is aimed at eliminating duplicate cards which are being used by unscrupulous elements to avoid paying due taxes," the official said.

Not linking with Aadhaar even after the grace period will render the invalid, he said.

"We can give three to six-month window after December 31 for the linking," he said.

Last month, the had told the court, which is hearing petitions against making Aadhaar linking to bank accounts, mobile phone numbers and others mandatory, that it is willing to extend the deadline to March 31, 2018.

This year, the made the quoting of Aadhaar mandatory for filing returns (ITRs) as well as obtaining a new

"The duplicate cards are the ones which are creating a major danger to the economy. They are the ones who are using this duplicate for opening bank accounts and then they are transacting and they are not filing returns. So we need to worry about them," the official said.

Section 139 AA (2) of the Act says that every person having as on July 1, 2017 and eligible to obtain Aadhaar, must intimate his Aadhaar number with the tax authorities.

The had in August extended by four months the deadline for linking with Aadhaar till December 31, pending the verdict.

As the case is pending in the Supreme Court, the is not enforcing the provision, the official said.

"There will be a time when once clears it, we would like to give a date by which all have to link with Aadhaar and remaining will be cancelled.

"We will give a 3-6 month window... But after that the PAN, if it is not linked, will be cancelled. Our purpose is, all duplicate PANs should be eliminated which are not linked to Aadhaar card. So, all the will go," the official said.

The is hearing petitions challenging the government's decision on Aadhaar and has said it may consider setting up a constitution bench to hear pleas challenging the Centre's move to make Aadhaar card mandatory for availing various services and benefits of welfare schemes.