Quoting PAN for cash transactions over threshold may be mandatory Jaitley

The government might soon make it mandatory to furnish a permanent account number ( PAN) for cash transactions over a certain limit, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reiterated on Sunday, in a Facebook post.

The bulk of Indians’ black money was within the country, he said. There was aneed to change the national attitude, so that plastic currency becomes the norm and cash an exception. The government was working with various authorities to incentivise this change.

The government has already said it is targeting undisclosed money abroad, with stringent action against those who’d chosen not to take advantage of the three- month compliance window in this regard, that ended on September 30.

The minister said the monitoring regime of the income tax department had been strengthened and its capacity to access information and apply technology- driven analytical tools to expose evasion had been enhanced.

In the 2015- 16 Budget, Jaitley had proposed making PAN details mandatory for all sale and purchase over Rs.1 lakh. “ The ability to detect large cash withdrawals or large cash transactions which enter the system is being strengthened. A GST (goods and services tax) regime, once introduced, will also be a landmark step in this direction,” he’d said.

For commodities such as gold where initial purchase by the exporter is after the payment of customs duty, subsequent transactions which are mostly in cash could easily be detected, he’d noted. “ Quoting of PAN is being made mandatory for any purchase or sale exceeding the value of Rs.1 lakh. The third- party reporting entities would be required to furnish information about foreign currency sales and cross- border transactions,” Jaitley had said in his Budget speech.

The government had then got representations from a wide section of society, including MPs, MLAs, trade and industry associations, among others, against the proposed mandatory quoting of PAN for sale or purchase in excess of Rs.1 lakh.

The minister has said the government’s policy is “ rationalisation of tax structures, taxing at reasonable rates, placing more money in the hands of small earners, encouraging and promoting the use of plastic money by all sections of society and creating deterrence against those who continue to use unaccounted money.” He said Switzerland had agreed to provide India with proof relating to several HSBC accounts where Delhi can give some evidence over and above the leaked or stolen data. They’d earlier ruled out cooperation with India on the ground that the data in question was stolen.

Business Standard, New Delhi, 5th Oct. 2015

 
     
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