Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her fiscal 2019-20 budget speech that more than 1.2 billion Indians now possess the Aadhaar unique ID number. In comparison, only 220 million have PAN.
During the Budget, Sitharaman also said that now Aadhaar cards could be used in place of PAN to file IT returns. Or, Aadhaar can be given in place of PAN wherever asked.
“The Income Tax department shall allot PAN to such person on the basis of Aadhaar after obtaining demographic data from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). It is also proposed to provide that a person who has already linked his Aadhaar with his PAN may at his option use Aadhaar in place of PAN under the Act,” an annexure to the Budget speech read.
Banks and other institutions will make backend upgrades to allow acceptance of Aadhaar in all places where quoting PAN is now mandatory, Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey.
Currently, over 120 crore Aadhaar numbers have been issued in the country and about 41 crore PAN numbers have been generated. Out of these, 22 crore PANs are linked with Aadhaar.