New Delhi: New norms for issuing of PAN (Permanent Account Number) cards have been put on hold by the Finance Ministry.
They would have come into force from February 3 and required verification of original documents of applicants. Currently, a PAN applicant has to just submit photo copies of documents required. The originals are not checked.
In a statement, the ministry said, "the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has decided to keep in abeyance the decision to change the procedure for PAN allotment till further orders. " In the meantime, it added, the old procedure of PAN application and allotment "shall continue".
The statement, however, did not give reasons for keeping the proposed norms on hold.
Under the proposed procedure, copies of proof of identity, address and date of birth attached with PAN application forms were to be checked against original documents when applications were to be submitted at PAN facilitation centres.
PAN is a 10-digit alphanumeric number issued in the form of a laminated card by the Income Tax department to any person or entity applying for it or to whom the department has allotted a number without an application.
Officials in the Income Tax department said that the cost of obtaining a PAN card, under the proposed norms, has been fixed at Rs. 105. The new procedure is expected to eliminate the problem of fake and multiple cards.