The Finance Minister of India P Chidambaram stated that biometric Permanent Account Number (PAN) cards will be introduced to the income tax payers of the country. In the first phase, these will be issued to new applicants.
Talking on the initiative, Chindambaram said that “Certain details and features have already been finalised, and other requirements like what biometric measure should be used in the new card are being worked out”.
The Finance Minister first brought the concept of biometric PAN cards in 2006, which was to be issued by the end of 2007. But this could not be done because of the delay in deciding what features the card should carry, reports IANS.
He stated that this time there will not be any further delay. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) was in the process of inviting tenders for these biometric PAN cards.
These new cards will have better security features than the existing ones and their duplication would not be easy. The card holder's fingerprint or retina impression upon the card ensures the security of the card. The biometric card will cost approximately Rs 200 to Rs 300 against Rs 60 that an existing card costs. The old PAN cards would be still valid but the holders would have to replace them.