Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presenting the Union Budget 2020 on February 1 announced that Permanent Account Number (PAN) will now be instantly allotted online on the basis of Aadhar. The move, she said, is to further ease the process of allotment of PAN by putting an end to the need to fill up forms and documents. The Finance Minister said that in the previous Budget, the BJP-led government had introduced the interchangeability of PAN and Aadhaar.
She said, "In the last Budget, I had introduced the interchangeability of PAN and Aadhaar, for which necessary rules were already notified. In order further ease the process of PAN, soon we will launch a system where PAN will be instantly allotted on the basis of Aadhar, without any requirements of filling up details or application form."
In an attempt to simplify the process for taxpayers, Nirmala Sitharaman in her last budget announced that PAN and Aadhaar can be used interchangeably thus allowing an individul to quote either the PAN or Aadhaar number. The move permitted individuls without a PAN to file their Income Tax Return (ITR) by quoting Aadhaar number. According to the previous income tax laws, it was compulsory to quote PAN number.
In Nirmala Sitharaman's maiden budget presented on June 5, the newly re-elected Modi government set the ambitious course to achieve a $5 trillion economy by 2024, considering the past 5 years' accelerated growth. Sitharaman, who is the first woman to present the Union Budget since former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, announced no changes in personal income tax rates but levied an additional surcharge on the super-rich. Moreover, the budget also announced a reduction in corporate tax and subsidies to the housing sector, startups and electric vehicles apart from boosting cashless economy.
Since then the Indian economy's growth has slumped to 4.5%, staring at a 45-year high on unemployment. While the key challenge the Finance Minister faces is kickstarting market demand, she also battles India's job crisis, diminishing FDI, growing inflation. In an attempt at course correction, the Modi government had announced the merger of 9 PSU banks into 4, major corporate tax cuts, policy changes in the automobile sector, reduction in tax regulations to boost foreign income, attract investors and increase the consumer demand during the past year.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday cut short her Budget speech as she felt unwell after speaking for a record 160 minutes in Lok Sabha. Sitharaman had only two pages of her Budget speech unread when she appeared uneasy and was seen wiping sweat from her forehead.