Government Allows Businesses to Use PAN for Single Window Clearance

The government is planning to allow businesses to use the Permanent Account Number (PAN) as a unique identifier instead of other data to access the National Single Window System (NSWS) to obtain different approvals and clearances of the state and central departments.

Piyush Goyal, the Commerce and Industry Minister, stated that the ministry had approached the revenue department regarding this matter. Currently, there are around 13 different business IDs like ESIC, EPFO, TIN, GSTN and PAN, which are utilised for various government approvals depending on the nature of clearances being sought. 

PAN numbers will help auto-populate many application forms that the system will receive and help speed up the approval process and encourage companies to apply on the NSWS. It will become a one-stop shop for investors to apply for approvals and set up units.

The NSWS aims to reduce the duplicity of information submitted to different ministries, reduce compliance burdens, cut the gestation period of projects, and promote ease of business. It enables the application, identification and subsequent tracking of approvals for all integrated central and state departments.

The NSWS is a single online interface to seek, identify and track many clearances from critical departments. It will spare the investors the trouble of submitting the same information to different departments across multiple platforms for obtaining permits.

Multinational corporations are discouraged from investing in India or scaling operations due to delays in clearances and cumbersome application processes. The government seeks to change it through the NSWS. Using PAN as a unique identifier will help expedite the approval process. The system accepts 248 applications and approvals from 26 central departments, ministries and states.

Piyush Goyal stated that the government is moving towards newer areas like country of origin, inspection approvals and export promotion council applications. Applicants for many Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes are encouraged to use the single window system.

Renewal of licenses will also be brought under the NSWS, starting with five ministries: consumer affairs, commerce and industry, textiles and food, and public distribution. The NSWS has received around 76,000 applications and requests to date, and there is a grant of about 48,000 approvals.

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