In a major announcement, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the Union Budget proposed to make PAN card and Aadhaar card interchangeable.

For the ease of tax payers, the Government proposed to allow those who do not have PAN to file returns by simply quoting Aadhaar number and use it wherever they require to use PAN.

Over 120 crore Indians have Aadhaar card and therefore making PAN and Aadhaar card interchangeable would make it easier for people to file returns.

Presenting the first budget of the Modi government in its second term, Sitharaman further said Aadhaar card for NRIs with Indian passports will be issued after their arrival in India, without waiting for the mandatory 180 days.

Sitharaman said with a view to incentivising investment in GIFT City, the government proposes several tax benefits.

Earlier in February, the The Supreme Court had said that linkage of PAN with Aadhaar is mandatory for filing of Income Tax returns (ITR).

The apex court on September 26 last year had declared the Centre’s flagship Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid but struck down some of its provisions including its linking with bank accounts, mobile phones and school admissions.

A five-judge constitution bench had held that while Aadhaar would remain mandatory for filing of I-T returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN), it would not be mandatory to link Aadhaar to bank accounts and telecom service providers cannot seek its linking for mobile connections.