An official from Income Tax department has stated that a new methodology would be soon adopted by the Govt., which will enable issuance of Permanent Account Number (PAN) within 48 hours flat.
As of now, it usually takes 15-20 days to receive PAN card, after applying for the same. In some cases, the wait can even extend to 45+ days, depending on the location of the applicant.

The official said, “An online facility for issuance of PAN is on the anvil under which an applicant can get a PAN card within 48 hours,”

It was also mentioned that special camps would be arranged in rural areas for greater awareness and enrollment for PAN cards.

IT Department’s Ultimate Wish: More PAN CardsIndia has a population of 1.2 billion (120 crores), and compared to it’s population, the penetration of PAN card has been really dismal, even after 12 years of it’s introduction.

As of March 2013, 170 million or 17 crore PAN cards have been issued, out of which only 30 million or 3 crore file Income Tax returns. Hence, only 14.1% of the Indian population has a Pan card, and only 2.5% file an IT return.

Despite such a shortfall, Income Tax is still one of the biggest sources of income for the Indian Govt., as per the budget of 2014-15, Government is all set to receive Rs 13,64,525 crore as revenues from Taxation (including all sorts of tax applied in India).

Its quite obvious that Income Tax department wants more people to have PAN card, which can enable more people to file IT returns, and hence more revenues would be generated for the Government.

Last year, in order to encourage more PAN cards, IT Dept. had included Voter’s ID and Aadhar Card as options for verification.

Brief History of PAN CardPAN or Permanent Account Number is a unique 10 character long alpha numeric identifier, which is issued under Section 139A of the Income Tax Act to all entities identifiable under Income Tax Act 1961. Along with Passport, Voters ID and Aadhar Card, it is considered as of the pillars of proving identity in India.

However, unlike passport, PAN Card is not a proof of nationality, as foreign investors who have a valid visa can also apply for PAN card.

It was introduced in 2003, as a valid identifier to track all financial transactions of Indian citizens; you need it for opening bank account, receiving salary, professional fees, trading stocks, forex and even while buying jewelry worth more than Rs 1 lakh.

In the last Union Budget announced, the salaried employees who are earning less than Rs 4,44,200 need not file any tax returns.

PAN Card can be requested by filing Form 49A: Application for Allotment of Permanent Account Number, which can also be applied online from their website.

Having more than one PAN card is a punishable offense, and attracts a penalty of Rs 10,000 or even higher depending on the transactions and the intent.

Source : Trakdotin