More shell firms found: PAN deactivation jolt for tax evaders in stock market

More shell firms found: PAN deactivation jolt for tax evaders in stock market: High-value transactions of more than Rs 50,000 and above require PAN details...

Justifying ‘SIN’
This refers to Shrimi Choudhary’s report “PAN deactivation jolt for tax evaders in stock market” (Business Standard, August 16). It is not just about tax evaders. The frequent meddling with citizen’s identity by responsible authorities is creating embarrassment for several citizens who are not involved in any crime, financial or otherwise, also.
Last week, at the checking-in counter at a reputed hotel in Mumbai, I saw a guest being asked to produce ‘some identity proof, other than PAN card’. The guest produced Aadhaar Card which was accepted. While waiting in the lobby, the guest casually asked me, why PAN was not acceptable. He was not convinced when I shared my guess that ‘may be, because recently thousands of PAN Cards have been deactivated, the front staff may not be taking a risk’. According to him, the list of deactivated cards should be on the website of IT Department and hotel staff ‘should be able to check out, in case of doubt’. Citizens are now more aware about the possibilities of technology than BBB (Businessmen-Bureaucrats-Bankers) elite think, I thought.
Perhaps, my short-time friend was making a valid point. GOI has been meddling with citizens’ identity this decade beyond tolerance levels. Modernization or introduction of new technology or better procedures and practices should not inconvenience the target clientele group too much. There should be a project approach to such shifts, ensuring and planning in advance for backward and forward linkages, making transition a smooth affair.
If technology is amenable, the Aadhaar Cards so far issued should be converted into Multi-Purpose Single Identity Numbers (SINs) with appropriate alpha-numeric prefixes/suffixes to identify the uses like, for bank accounts, ration cards, passport and so on.

M G Warrier, Mumbai


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