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MIN will stay but with a PAN-twist
February, 06th 2007

The Mutual Fund Identification Number (MIN), mandatory for investments above Rs 50,000 in mutual funds, is likely to stay, even though the month-old confusion over it continues. 
 
The Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi) has issued nearly one lakh MINs till date. The industry body, along with fund houses, is also exploring the ministry of finances proposal to use the permanent account number (PAN) of investors as his/ her MIN. 
 
There is no proposal to scrap MIN. The number has been introduced to comply with the know your customer norms. The Amfi standing committee is discussing the governments suggestion of using PAN. A decision would be taken soon, Amfi chief A P Kurian said. 
 
The finance ministrys suggestion, if implemented, would see MIN of the investor to be followed by his PAN, which means same set of digits as PAN would be used as the Mutual Fund Identification Number. 
 
However, the one lakh-odd MINs alloted till date have been issued without PAN. 
 
A section of investors had expressed reservations on MIN as many were unhappy over another identification number. MIN follows UIN under Mapin and PAN. 
 
It has not gone down well with mutual fund distributors too, as they are also facing investors wrath following a delay in getting the number. 
 
The distributors are seen as one of the most influential segment in the mutual fund business, as more than 90 per cent of retail money coming to fund houses is through them. 
 
However, a few small-sized funds such as Quantum have adopted direct approach, eliminating or reducing distributor dependence. 
 
Amfi has allowed the investors to submit their MIN forms through a representative. As a result, most of the applications are routed through the distributors. The investors are confused over MIN. The delay in getting MIN has added to this, a top mutual fund distributor said. 
 
To solve the issue, CDSL Ventures Ltd - a subsidiary of the Central Depository Services Ltd - has already increased number of point of service (PoS). 
 
However, none of the distributors are permitted to act as PoS. It shifted the scanning of the investors documents from PoS to its central dataware house, to speed up the procedure. 
 
This has definitely cut down the time. But, it is still taking a period of at least five-six days for investors to get MIN, sources said.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
STAYING PUT 
 
The Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi) has issued nearly one lakh MINs till date


The industry body, along with fund houses, is also exploring the ministry of finances proposal to use the permanent account number (PAN) of investors as his/ her MIN


There is no proposal to scrap MIN. The number has been introduced to comply with the know your customer norms. The Amfi standing committee is discussing the governments suggestion of using PAN. A decision would be taken soon, said Amfi chief A P Kurian

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