Biometric PAN cards could soon be a reality
After biometric passports the action moved to PAN cards. The income tax department has decided to issue biometric PAN cards for new applicants and to those seeking re-issue. These biometric PAN cards would also make sure that one person can possess only one PAN card. Which is the biggest issue in the IPO’s of 2007-08.
Biometric as an identification is a relatively old by at least 5 years. The US and UK visa services via VFS already use biometrics by taking 2 finger prints. Darshan for Lord Balaji in Tirupati is administered through biometrics. However, the biometrics used for PAN cards will be a little different.
According to documents made available to the bidders, the government intends to capture fingerprints of four fingers of an individual — two from each hand — and the facial image, with the eyes clearly visible. After much deliberation, the tax department has dropped plans to capture the image of the iris, a senior official said. (Business Standard)
They will take the finger prints for 4 fingers and in addition to the facial image with eyes clear. Remember Minority Report? This kind of foresight is required to foolproof the process which runs into few hundred crores of rupees. The only problem is there is no mandate to re-issue PAN cards yet for the existing holders.
6 IT vendors are bidding to provide the infrastructure to process 12 million new users annually. HCL, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), CMC, Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL), ITI and Bharat Electronics (BEL) are the vendors in fray.
These vendors will be responsible for handling 70 million PAN records and 100,000 applications a day. They will also be responsible for issuing the new card in 20 days. Each card will cost Rs. 67 to prepare.
All the vendors in the list are Indian which is good news for Indian IT. IBM leads the preferred vendor list for any IT project in India and this would be a significant chunk for any company which bags the project.