Mumbai: Civil Society activists in a statement issued on Thursday demanded that the central government withdraw the mandatory fee for linkage of PAN and Aadhaar cards from poor workers. The 19 activists have questioned the logic behind charging a mandatory non-refundable fee of Rs.1000 for linking PAN with Aadhaar from poor workers and labourers who are earning an irregular average income of less than Rs.500 per day.
In March 2022, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued a circular, stating that it is mandatory for all individuals who were allotted a PAN on or before July 1, 2017, to link their Aadhaar number with their PAN. The linking of Aadhaar and PAN card is required to be done before March 31. On Tuesday the government extended the deadline by three months to June 30
“We, undersigned, represent daily wage workers/labourers, who are earning an irregular average income of less than Rs.500 per day. Majority of them are priority ration card holders, which means they have annual income of less than Rs 59,000 (urban labourers). On an average each family has 4 to 5 members with only one earning member. This announcement has created fear and panic among workers and is forcing them to take loans for linkages. How can we expect these workers to pay a mandatory non-refundable fee of Rs.1000 for linking PAN with Aadhaar?”, questioned the activists.
The civil society activists further stated, “This is an ill planned scheme which is not only looting but depriving the poor of the banking system. We demand the authorities to review this process and give exemption to workers and labourers who are suffering from this imposed penalty. This is in fact, an exercise for the convenience of the state, hence it should be made free for all.”