Mandatory of PANs leading to Hike in its Demand
The demand for the Permanent Account Number (PAN) is on an all time high with the Income Tax (I-T) department issuing a record number of PANs in the ongoing financial year of 2007-08, with even minors joining the queue of PAN seekers.
The I-T department has issued 95 lakhs PAN Card, till date. The highest number of PAN cards it has ever issued, ever since the PAN card became a mandatory document for trading in stocks, shares and mutual funds two years ago. At this rate the total number of allotments would cross 1.2 crore by March 31, almost double the number of PANs it issued two years ago in 2005-06.
This year's allotments alone account for about 20% of the total number of PANs issued so far, which is 6.02 crores . Out of six crore PAN holders, 25 lakh are minors.
Financial consultants indicate that, "People are putting money in SIPs (Systematic Investment Plan) in the name of their children, planning a good amount when they turn majors." Besides, the large numbers seeking PAN cards is also due to the stock bug biting even those who once preferred traditional long-term investments in post offices or banks. .Not only the 25-35 age group is investing heavily in shares and mutual funds, senior citizens and even housewives too have started investing mainly in mutual funds.
I-T officials note that the huge demand is also due to the rise in the tax-payer base. I-T officials quip that its departments other than I-T that have made PAN mandatory in various procedures and transactions that is fuelling the demand.