Sunday, March 6, 2011

PAN Card Privileges

If you pay taxes in India, you have a personal account number card, which is better and more commonly known as a PAN card. It's basically a social security number to make sure you pay those taxes. With the PAN card come certain privileges, like discounts into certain monuments and sites where they have tiered pricing for foreigners and locals.
Even with my Dad's name on the card, he still paid the foreigner price
After lunch on Saturday when Lindsay had planned to guide my mother through the alleys and boutiques of Khan Market, I was finally able to take a pass and was able to visit one of Delhi's nearby sites, Safdarjung's Tomb, with my Dad. The entrance fee to this monument is Rs. 100 (approximately $2.25) for foreigner's and Rs. 5 for ($0.11) for nationals and residents. I approached the booking office and asked for two tickets. I was told, "200 rupees". I paused, whipped out my PAN card, and the price quickly reduced to Rs. 105. Of course, when I handed the guy Rs. 110 he didn't have change but I still felt the sweet smell of a small victory. He said I could have my change when I exited the tomb, but he and I both knew he wasn't expecting me to come back to the window for my 5 rupees.

After we entered the grounds, I needed to use the restroom. I found the sign to the toilet and noticed it would cost Rs. 2. The price seemed reasonable so I made a quick visit, exited, and was soon approached by the attendant. I handed him a twenty note and he made change with a 10. Not exactly the price I had expected. As a proud card carrying member of the residents of India, I had no intention of paying 10 rupees to use the restroom. He was still holding my 20 in his hand, so I snatched it back and handed over his 10. He responded, "Two rupees." I simply said, "Then give me change". Begrudgingly, he stuffed his hand in his pocket, fished around, and magically found an additional eight rupees in coins. I happily accepted another small victory.
Safdarjung Tomb, one of Delhi's youngest Mughal tombs
While walking around the tomb, which is a nice little site in Delhi and worth a quick visit if you have some extra time during the day, a friendly security guard approached and started telling us the history of the monument. Shockingly, he was a real security guard and wasn't looking for a tip. He was, however, looking for our ticket stubs. We weren't handed stubs. Having no other proof that we belonged where we were, I pulled out my PAN card and said, "I don't have a ticket stub, but I do have one of these." He flashed me a quick smile, nodded, and let me pass.

Yep, the PAN card has some privileges.


  1. haha..Tat was Really cool!!
    I dint know PAN Cards can hv Sooooo much pwr..i jz thot its a useless plastic which is there cz it needs to b there :D

  2. Hi John,

    Just came across your blog (now that I'm trying to get back into blogging myself.) Noticed your from the NW Chicago suburbs. Where exactly? I'm from Arlington Heights.

    I have tried using my PAN card at a bunch of places with no luck. Taj Mahal (not that I thought it would), museums in Mumbai, Quitab Minar, etc.

  3. Callarda, thanks for commenting. I've read your blog from time to time and noticed it had been a while. Looking forward to more posts! We still haven't made it to Mumbai but need to at some point before this experience is over.

    We're from Lake Zurich, so just up the road from Arlington Heights.

    I kind of figured the Taj wouldn't reduce prices but am surprised by some of the other sites you list. My only other PAN card victory was it got me reduced entry into the Delhi Half Marathon, sometimes it's the small things....

  4. Very nice article John. Applying for PAN card is easy now online at emudhra. They helped me for filling application online. check website in case you want to apply online.

  5. For the FY 2011-12 and years before this, you need to visit Income Tax office and request them to allow you to do the return filing for these financial years so that you can do so by filling offline ITR forms.
    know your pan jurisdiction by pan no

  6. There might be the wrong mindset of some civilians, that PAN card is used as one of the proofs for Indian citizenship. PAN card is not considered as proof.

    Instead, it is used for the entrepreneurs or for financial transaction purposes, bank accounts holders and the people that receive government job salaries.