PAN may soon become Aadhaar of your NGO, Non Profits and Trust.

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The government has been in discussions to turn the Permanent Account Number (PAN) into the enterprise unique ID, a feature which was announced by finance minister Arun Jaitley while presenting the Union Budget.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/pan-may-soon-become-aadhaar-of-your-business/articleshow/62841804.cms

Among the plethora of IDs which are held by enterprises, making PAN the unique ID will be the most conducive option. This will mean that even the non-tax paying entities such as not-for profits, trusts or societies will have to now apply for a PAN number. It has also been suggested that this PAN number or the unique identity can be linked with the Aadhaar number at the backend.

Read more:  http://ourcivilsociety.com/civil-society-news-pan-may-soon-become-aadhaar-of-your-ngo-non-profits-and-trust/

 

The government has been in discussions to turn the Permanent Account Number (PAN) into the enterprise unique ID, a feature which was announced by finance minister Arun Jaitley while presenting the Union Budget.

Though the idea was first mooted a couple of years ago, the recent discussions suggest that among the plethora of IDs which are held by enterprises, making PAN the unique ID will be the most conducive option. This will mean that even the non-tax paying entities such as not-for profits, trusts or societies will have to now apply for a PAN number. It has also been suggested that this PAN number or the unique identity can be linked with the Aadhaar number at the backend.

A government official said that the Centre has been mulling this move for around two years now. “The whole idea is if all are asked to furnish a PAN number regardless of whether they are income tax payees or not, and the Aadhaar number is being asked for people who are behind that entity, then this PAN number can be the unifying factor.”

The official added that this will curb the proliferation of fake entities, NGOs and shell companies since the government will be able to track fraudulent activity much more easily.

Another government official added that directors, promoters and trustees of all the companies will be asked to furnish their individual PAN number as well.

 

There are over 30 crore PAN numbers in the country and around 15 crore have already been linked to Aadhaar as per government estimates. Sachin Seth, Partner-Advisory Services, EY India told ET that most of the corporates today don’t have a single identity and there is a multiple ID system because the corporate landscape has evolved in the country over many years.

“As the government is looking at the bigger ecosystem , it is trying to have a single identity for corporate like we have for an individual in Aadhaar, so that it’s easy to pull out linkages and data.” Another government official said that it is “open” to PAN being the unique identity for the companies.

“If Aadhaar can really get stabilised as national identity like in US, then it can knock off DIN (Director Identification Number),” the official said, adding that the option of PAN replacing the Company Identification Number (CIN) has to be seen.
According to experts, apart from the entities that already have PAN, another 20-22 crore entities will now have to get a PAN registered. They say that the task of allotting new PANs or their linkage with Aadhaar will not be very challenging.
Instead, the insights that analytics of the new data may provide may be very useful for the country’s tax system. “It will clean up the financial markets and the avenues will be much reduced for untraceable, unaccountable transactions,” said Sivarama Krishnan, executive director of PwC.

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NGO – Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation seeks Directives on RPD Act – 2016

Persons with disabilities enjoy a day out at Elliot's beach in Chennai on December 3, 2017.

 

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked all states and union territories (UTs) to implement within three months, the 2016 Act on the rights of persons with disabilities.

A division bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice S Abdul Nazeer asked states and UTs to file reports regarding compliance of provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016.

The court’s order came on a plea filed by the Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation seeking direction to the Central government and all states to implement the 2016 Act.

During the hearing, Advocate Manali Singhal, appearing for the foundation told the court that Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Lakshadweep have filed affidavit stating compliance of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995. However, the court had sought compliance of 2016 Act.

In 2016, amendments were made in Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 and the apex court had asked states and UTs to implement provisions of new Act.

As compared to the 1995 Act, various new provisions have been included in the 2016 Act and it has expanded the horizon of the rights of such persons, Singhal said.

The apex court had last year asked states to “scrupulously” follow the 2016 Act on the rights of persons with disabilities.

The court had said that 2016 Act is a “sea change in the perception” and exhibits a march forward look with regard to persons with disabilities and roles of state governments, local authorities, educational institutes and companies are given there.

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NGO allowed to receive foreign funds

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which cancelled the FCRA licence of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), the country’s largest public health advocacy group last year, has now allowed the NGO to receive foreign funds by “prior permission.”

Its notification said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has contributed Rs. 65 crore towards the corpus fund of the foundation for setting up Indian Institutes of Public Health from its budget.

The notification also said that PHFI had been running five such institutes and working with several State and some departments of the Central government to execute some health projects. To allow such projects to continue, the MHA said, “PHFI shall have to obtain prior permission before acceptance of each contribution.”

The notification also said that PHFI should utilise such foreign contributions lying unused in its bank accounts strictly in accordance with the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010.

The NGO was barred from receiving foreign funds on the ground, among others, that it used foreign contributions to lobby parliamentarians, the media and the government on tobacco control issues, which “is prohibited under the FCRA.”

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is a major contributor to the NGO.

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Indian NGO advocates remarriage of ‘tiger widows’

There are more than 3000 ‘tiger widows’ – women whose husbands have been killed by the ferocious animal – in India’s West Bengal state. Neglected by the administration and shunned by society, there is a new ray of hope in their dark lives as a leading Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Sulabh International, has launched a timely programme to rescue and rehabilitate them.

It is ironical that while the government spends millions of Rupees annually to protect and increase the population of the Royal Bengal Tiger in the famed Sundarbans – the largest mangrove forest on earth in the world’s biggest river delta straddling West Bengal and Bangladesh – its victims and their dependants are invariably left to fend for themselves on the plea that villagers have no business venturing into the tiger habitat where there is every likelihood of them falling prey to the king of the jungle.

Defying regulations

Defying regulations, impoverished locals regularly sneak into the tiger reserve to fish, collect honey and wood or catch crabs for a living. When the men venture into the dangerous mangrove forest in groups, their wives spend long hours praying for their safe return. But many of them are inevitably killed by man-eaters and their widows are branded ‘Bag Bidhoba’ or tiger widows.

Superstitious villagers hold the widows responsible for their husband’s fate and shun them without remorse. Ostracised by society, the widows find it difficult to feed themselves and their children. There is no question of their remarriage because of the popular notion that their second husband would meet the same fate as the first. They have no option but to beg for a living or migrate to a city where they live in pitiable conditions.

Sulabh International Chairman Bindeshwari Pathak announced in Calcutta, capital of West Bengal, this month that his NGO would pull out all stops to change people’s mindset to clear the decks for remarriage of young tiger widows. He also advocated vocational training in tailoring, knitting, embroidery and incense-stick making for widows of all ages to make them economically independent and bring sunshine into their gloomy lives.

Plan of action

Pathak declared his plan of action in the presence of dozens of tiger widows and two key West Bengal ministers: Subrata Mukherjee, Minister for Public Health Engineering and Panchayat and Sashi Panja, Minister for Women and Child Development. The ministers promised full government backing for Pathak’s blueprint to help Sundarbans’ hapless women. Panja lamented that their pathetic existence was a blot on society and the government which did nothing for decades to ameliorate their suffering.

Pathak’s intervention has raised hopes because of his track record of coming to the aid of widows in Varanasi and Vrindavan – two of India’s holiest cities where many Indians banish their womenfolk after their husbands’ death so that they can appropriate their properties and wealth. As Sulabh International has consistently fought for widows’ rights, it has the right credentials to restore the dignity of Sunderbans’ wronged women.

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