Over 15 crore Permanent Account Number (PAN) are yet to be linked with unique identity number Aadhaar, data from Finance Ministry, presented in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday show. In response to another question, the Ministry said, Central Government saved over ₹2600 crore with the help of new accounting mechanism.
Minister of State in the Finance Ministry, Pankaj Chaudhary said in a written reply that over 46.70 crore out of over 61.73 crore individual PANs have been linked so far with Aadhaar. This implies that more than 75 per cent of PANs are now linked with Aadhaar.
Extended due date for linking PAN with Aadhaar was March 31, 2022. However, as a special measure, government allowed linking PAN with Aadhaar between April 01 and June 30 with late fee of ₹500. From July 1, the fee is ₹1,000 and this facility will be available till March 31, 2023.
When asked about whether Government will consider waiving off the penal fee and extend the time to link PAN with Aadhaar for at least during the current financial year, Chaudhury said: “No such proposal is under consideration.” Further he said that number of PANs issued in the last five years (from F.Y. 2017-18 to till date) for individuals are over 33 crore. Also, over 7.62 lakh PANs issued in the last five years for companies.
Treasury Single Account
In response to question by BJP MP Sushil Kumar Modi, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply that Central Government has saved an amount of ₹2679.07 crore in 2021-22 with the help of new accounting mechanism, Treasury Single Account (TSA). It was written back to Consolidated Fund of India as unutilised amount by Autonomous Bodies (AB) and would have been kept outside Government account.
In order to minimise the cost of Government borrowings and to enhance efficiency in fund flows to AB of the Union Government, the centre has gradually brought them under a new mechanism named the TSA System. Prior to the introduction of TSA system in ABs, the Grant-in-Aid to various Autonomous Bodies was released by the Ministries/Departments concerned in the account of these ABs in scheduled commercial banks. The funds released were utilised by the ABs over a period of time.
Consequently, Government funds remained parked in the bank accounts of ABs for a significant period of time. Under the TSA system, the ABs open assignment account in Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Instead of actual funds, ABs are given authorisation for spending the funds from the assignment account. The funds remain in CFI and are released Just-in-Time to the intended beneficiaries/vendors. Due to elimination of any parking of funds outside CFI, TSA system has increased the liquidity with GoI, thereby reducing the need for Government borrowing.
In case of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS), a new procedure for flow of funds to the State Governments was introduced with effect from July 01, 2021. Sitharaman said that the new procedure has brought in more transparency in availability of CSS funds in State treasuries and bank account of SNAs. This has led to better monitoring of utilisation of funds and better availability of funds with SNAs for CSS implementation. She also clarified that there is no mechanism for assessing /quantifying the savings on account of interest from the new accounting system (TSA) for Central Government ABs/CSS.