Govt considering using PAN as single-point identifier to expedite clearances: Piyush Goyal
The proposal involves the use of PAN as a unique identifier for entering the National Single Window System (NSWS) instead of using other identifiers for central and state-level regulatory approvals, Piyush Goyal said
Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said the government is considering the use of Permanent Account Number or PAN as a single-point identifier to facilitate expeditious regulatory approvals to new investment proposals under the single window, besides allowing a similar facility for renewal of licenses and periodic compliances.
The proposal involves the use of PAN as a unique identifier for entering the National Single Window System (NSWS) instead of using other identifiers for central and state-level regulatory approvals, he said at a press conference on Monday.
PAN is likely to be used as a unique identifier for API integration of data between ministries and states for ensuring a unique business user ID. NSWS also helps reduce data duplication and fills the same data in various forms using auto-population module, he said. Goyal added that the commerce ministry has already approached the Department of Revenue (DoR) on this matter. DoR is an arm of the Union finance ministry.
“We are moving towards using one of the existing databases as the entry point, which is already available with the government...and most probably that will be the PAN number. So, with the PAN, a lot of the basic data about the company, its directors, addresses, and a lot of common data is already available in the PAN database,” he said.
At present, there are more than a dozen different IDs for businesses such as 15-digit Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN), Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and Tax Deduction Account Number or Tax Collection Account Number (TAN).
A pilot version of NSWS is already working with encouraging results, Goyal said. It received nearly 76,000 applications or requests and about 48,000 approvals were granted so far, and technical glitches in NSWS were as low as 514, meaning that the portal showed over 99% efficiency, he added.
NSWS would help realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of “transforming red tape to red carpet” and currently 27 central departments and 19 states have been on-boarded on the system, the minister explained. Schemes fully on-boarded on NSWS include Vehicle Scrapping Policy, Ethanol Policy, Leather Development Program, hallmarking of jewellery, and Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO) certification, he said .
The minister was addressing reporters after a review meeting on the single window system. The meeting witnessed participation from 32 central ministries and departments, 36 states and union territories and industry associations. “At the meeting, several new ideas emerged from various stakeholders, especially on integration of data collection through a single time entry of critical information,” Goyal said.
Goyal added that the National Land Bank has also been integrated into NSWS as 1 lakh hectares of land in different industrial parks and estates are available in the system. The portal will become a one stop shop for buying industrial land, he said.
Encouraging more and more states to make use of NSWS, Goyal said states which use NSWS would be given better ranking on Ease of Doing Business Index.
The Minister said renewal of licences would also be brought under NSWS starting with the commerce and industry, consumer affairs, food and public distribution, and textile ministries.
“Union government’s ease of doing business has two dimensions -- making laws simpler and ease of compliance. Single window is part of the later. It is making processes of regulatory approvals simpler both at the Central as well as at States. But applicants have to meet all legal requirements of respective jurisdictions. Yes, the system will make the entire exercise transparent, simple and time-bound, which will benefit investors immensely,” said A Sudhakar Reddy, a legal expert and former joint secretary, legal and treaty division in the ministry of external affairs.