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Firms’ PAN to be identifier for govt single window clearance system

Businesses can cite their permanent account number (PAN) as a unique identifier for accessing the national single window system (NSWS) to obtain clearances and approvals from central and state government departments, said union commerce minister Piyush Goyal on Monday.

Businesses presently use EPFO number, ESIC number, GSTN, TIN, TAN and PAN to apply for government approvals. Goyal said that the PAN number will help automatically populate other application forms received in the system to speed up approvals.

“We are moving towards using one of the existing databases as the entry point, which is already available with the government…and most probably that will be the PAN number. So with the PAN, a lot of the basic data about the company, its directors, addresses, and a lot of common data is already available in the PAN database,” Goyal told reporters after a review meeting of NSWS in Delhi.

NSWS, which is in the beta stage, has received more than 76,000 requests and it has approved around 48,000 requests. “Only 514 applications faced some sort of technical glitches, which shows the efficiency of the system”, Goyal said.

As many as 27 central departments and 19 states have joined the platform and government officials are hopeful of getting all central departments on board by March next year.

The clearance platform was launched in September last year by the department for promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) to streamline the approval process across ministries and do away with the need for multiple applications across various portals. The move is part of the government’s efforts to boost ease of business, as investment proposals typically require a number of approvals and clearances across various states and government departments.

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