300% jump in PAN applications since demonetization: CBDT
Despite widespread criticism, demonetization has had some benefits, like a 300% jump in the number of applications received for Permanent Account Numbers (PAN). According to CBDT Chairman Sushil Chandra, while there were 2.5L PAN applications a month before demonetization, post that, it had increased to a whopping 7.5L. This implied more and more people "want to keep their businesses and financial transactions clean".
Criticism of demonetization was largely based on its implementation
Many have slammed the demonetization of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes, mostly because of the way it was implemented. In the aftermath, people suffered: they had to stand in lines for long hours. About 100 died due to demonetization-related stress, reports said. Moreover, 99% of old notes had returned to banks, leading many to question whether black money had been affected at all.
But the government has claimed several benefits
But the government has maintained the benefits will be seen in the long term. Tax officials recently revealed they had spent the year flagging suspicious deposits and will now pursue them. The ED has registered over 3,700 cases for money laundering and issued 600 show-cause notices since demonetization. It also cracked down on illegal assets worth Rs. 9,900cr during November'16-September'17.
How is PAN-Aadhaar helping in the fight against black money?
Regarding PAN, the authorities have also mandated linking of the document to Aadhaar. The deadline is December 31. It will help check tax evasion and flag suspicious transactions. I-T this time put on hold tax returns for many who hadn't linked the two. However, despite the laws, only 39.5% PANs have been linked with Aadhaar in the 130 days since the government mandated it.