Answered on December 07,2017
Primary purpose of the PAN is to bring a universal identification to all financial transactions and to prevent tax evasion by keeping track of monetary transactions. Unlike the Aadhar and Driving License, it is also issued to foreign nationals who want to do business or invest in India. Hence, it is not acceptable as proof of Indian citizenship. Therefore, PAN is optional and voluntary just like passport, Driving License, Aadhar card etc. However, persons who are required to furnish income tax return or who intend to enter into economic or financial transaction for which it is mandatory, must obtain PAN.