Punjab Excise and Taxation (E&T) Department has made a new history by achieving its Motor Branch Tax Collection target of Rs7 billion plus more than the previous year target of Rs 6.5 billion, The News learnt.
Sources in Punjab E&T told The News that E&T Director General Akram Ashraf Gondal had deputed Director Motor Branch Muhammad Asif in 2016 after which Director Asif asked the department not to interfere in his working procedure. Director Motor Branch Asif started working in his own way and started crackdown on fake computerised number plates and its manufacturers after the Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2016 by provincial legislators.
The crackdown was launched in August 2016 under Section 97A against the illegal number plates and its manufacturers by the Excise Motor Branch teams.
More than one lakh number plates had been removed by the excise teams under the supervision of Director Motor Branch Asif in various parts of the provincial capital during the last eleven months. Talking to The News, Director Motor Branch Muhammad Asif said majority of the motorists were avoiding paying their vehicular token tax and most of these vehicles token tax was paid whenever they sold it to another buyer.
Director Asif said property tax collection is easier than motor vehicular tax collection because property tax challan is being issued door to door by the excise officers but there is no such mechanism for the vehicular tax.
During the crackdown on fake number plates, our teams confiscated illegal number plates and checked each vehicle’s token tax online and impounded vehicles which were token tax defaulters, he added. Excise teams allowed the vehicular owners and release their vehicles after they cleared all their pending token tax and got their computerized number plates from Excise Motor branch.
He said his team members under the supervision of ETO Tie-up Adeem Amjad played their vital role and law enforcing agencies including police and military police, rangers assisted them in all manners.
Director Asif said his team did not spare anyone whether they were politicians or bureaucrats, national players, ambassadors or police personnel. The basic reason of our success was that we dealt with every one as per law and no one was obliged and some of big examples included Home secretary, IGP, cricketer Misbah Ul Haq, Umar Akmal, Bilawal Bhatti, film star Shan, dozens of MPAs and MNAs, he said.
He when he assumed the charge of this post more than 3 lakh computerised number plates were present in locked rooms of excise offices and he was the one who unlocked these rooms and placed all plates at one open place. Then a private call centre was established within Motor Branch office comprising 12 operators and lists were prepared and daily thousands of calls were made to the vehicular owners and later their plates were dispatched by TCS to their home addresses.
When connected DG Excise Akram Ashraf Gondal said it is a big achievement for the department that Motor Branch achieved its target before time.
DG Akram Ashraf said he had been trying his best to depute officers like Director Asif and revenue collection was being improved due to such officers.
No impounding facility was available earlier for Punjab Excise but now the department has two big impounding facilities and token tax revenue collection will be improved gradually due to the initiatives and actions of Motor Branch Directorate.
He said property tax and other taxes collections systems have also been improved and almost all the sectors would be online soon.