Nepal hops on to PAN bandwagon


Nepal's first president Ram Baran Yadav on Monday became the first head of state to have a PAN, followed by Vice President Paramananda Jha and Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal.

The finance ministry allocated Yadav PAN 100000001 while in Jha's case, it is 100000002. The prime minister got PAN 100000003. According to the regulation laid down by Finance Minister Surendra Pandey, all citizens with an yearly income of NRS 160,000 or above and couples with an annual income of NRS 200,000 or more have to get a PAN.

House owners letting out to government agencies and other organisations as well as car owners renting out their vehicles would also need to have a PAN. The PAN is now mandatory for professionals like engineers, chartered accountants, lawyers and even actors as well as people buying shares worth over NRS 1 million.

At present, there are about 350,000 institutions and people holding the PAN. The drive is aimed at netting at least 250,000 more this year. However, while also issuing PAN cards to ministers, the government did not say immediately if it was issuing one to deposed king Gyanendra as well.

The former king, who had enjoyed tax exemption during his days in power, was stripped of all tax privileges after a coup to seize power ended in debacle and the abolition of monarchy. This month, Pandey said Gyanendra had approached the finance ministry, seeking to pay taxes and utilities and requesting a concession.

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