Permanent Account Number (PAN) is an alpha numeric code that is one of the forms of identification for Citizens or Organizations. PAN is primarily used for paying Income tax and is to be quoted during various financial transactions or payments.
PAN is supposed to prevent tax evasion by tracking all financial transactions of an individual citizen or organization.
Close to 3% of the Indian Population pays Income Tax which is way below the global average. Holding a PAN card is the first step before paying Income Tax. There are only 203 PAN Cards for every 1000 population in the country as per government data.
Delhi leads the way
As expected, Delhi has the highest number of PAN Cards per 1000 population in the larger states. This could be because of a large presence of central government establishments coupled with a large number of people working in the organized sector.
Delhi has 664 PAN cards for every 1000 population followed by Chandigarh with 644. Goa & Maharashtra are next in the list with 523 and 380 PAN cards respectively, for every 1000 population.
Haryana and Gujarat are 5th and 6th in the list respectively. The analysis did not take into consideration, some of the smaller Union Territories (UTs) because of their lower population.
Bihar & Uttar Pradesh at the bottom
Mizoram has the lowest number (18) of PAN Cards for every 1000 population. Bihar is second from the bottom with just 96 cards. Uttar Pradesh & Chhattisgarh are also in the bottom five.
Number of cards in Bihar for every 1000 population is less than half the national average.
Almost half the states are below the national average while half are above the national average.
Surprisingly, Andhra Pradesh (including Telangana) & Kerala with relatively better per capita income are in the bottom half.
24.56 Crore PAN cards in all
In terms of absolute numbers, there are 24.56 crore PAN cards in the country. Close to 50% of these cards are from five states of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Incidentally these are also the states with the highest population. Only Bihar and Madhya Pradesh are not part of the top five despite a large population.
Nine (9) states have more than one crore PAN Cards. Among all the states, only Mizoram has less than one lakh PAN cards. Eight (8) states have less than 10 lakh PAN cards.
(Rakesh has been working on issues related to Right to Information (RTI) for a decade. He is a Data/Information enthusiast & passionate about Governance/Policy issues.)