The budget proposal for using the Permanent Account Number (PAN) as the common identifier for all digital systems of specified government agencies will boost the utility of India’s national single window system, according to the chief product and technology officer at Invest India, a government-run investment promotion and facilitation agency.
“I think now the real advantage of single window system will come in play,” Aditya Sharma told Moneycontrol. “From September onwards, you will start seeing the advantages of this (budget announcement).”
The PAN is a 10-character identification issued by the Income-Tax Department to any person who applies for it or to whom the department allots the number without an application. At present, India has over a dozen different business IDs like PAN, EPFO, ESIC, GSTN, TIN and TAN, which are being used to apply for various government approvals.
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As announced in the Budget 2023-24, PAN will eventually replace all of these for the National Single Window System, which seeks to be the one-stop digital platform for investors to obtain most central and state approvals needed to start business operations.
The platform, which has a proven track record of over a year, will enable seamless reverse integration with state windows through common login id and then allow businesses and investors to apply for renewals.
This would enable new and existing businesses to apply for business-related approvals and renewals without approaching different ministers and departments.
But for renewals module to be made operational, central government ministries and departments will need to link the information they hold with PAN details. This process will take a few months after it kicks off.
“In the first three months, you will see that the single window has enabled login with PAN and then subsequently, all the central departments will be directed to link their information to entity PANs,” Sharma said.
The IT infrastructure for the project is ready and proof of concept trials have been completed with a couple of departments, he added.
Government officials have hailed the common identifier move as one of the key budget measures that will boost ease of doing business. Over a dozen central government ministries and departments and all states are said to have agreed to come on board the national single window.