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The PAN card was first launched only in 1972. There was a GIR number allotted by local income tax officers before this. It was valid only within a particular circle and had the income tax assessor’s details also. This was not useful on a national level and caused confusion as the number was not unique.

At first wards and circles were allotted numbers and these numbers were assigned manually till 1995. But this created some confusion.

  • There was no national database of complete information of numbers allotted and information was too restricted.
  • Pan numbers were not allotted by a centralized system, so there were chances of numbers being repeated.
  • PAN numbers would change with the change of address of the taxpayer, leading to confusion.

The PAN became mandatory in 1976.