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August 17, 2018

Private contractors rule the roost, govt departments pass the buck


August 17, 2018

Rawalpindi : Is there any authority to take action against private contractors, freely violating the orders of Punjab Home Department, taking 7 per cent tax from buyers while 10 per cent tax from sellers here at Rawat Cattle Market? Punjab Home Department issued a notification to establish ‘Tax Free’ animal ‘mandis’ all around Rawalpindi.

Interestingly, nobody from the Chaklala Cantonment Board, Rawalpindi Cantonment Board and Potohar Town is taking responsibility of granting the contract to the owners of the cattle market, who instead claim of paying a hefty amount to Cantonment Board Management for establishing their market in Rawat.

Reliable sources disclosed to ‘The News’ that the Cantonment Board Management (CBM) has given the contract of sacrificial animal 'mandis' at the rate of Rs3.9 million per 'mandi' to private contractors. “Nonetheless, private contractors are not providing any official document in this regard. Rawat Cattle Market is endorsing its claim on the basis of an unofficial receipt,” he added.

Meanwhile, imposition of 7 to 10 per cent tax at Rawat Cattle Market has left buyers in a lurch as they persistently argue with the traders and several brawls have been reported over the issue.

However, when contacted Chaklala Cantonment Board (CCB) Secretary Rana Amanullah Khan told ‘The News’ that Rawat Cattle Market was neither in the jurisdiction of Chaklala Cantonment Board nor Rawalpindi Cantonment Board. “Rawat Cattle Market is in the jurisdiction of Potohar Town Management and they are responsible to stop this violation,” he resorted.

On the other hand, Chief Officer (CO) Potohar Town Muhammad Kamran while talking to this scribe made a different claim saying, “Rawat Cattle Market is not in our jurisdiction, but it is Cantonment Board Management (CCB) which is overlooking it. We are completely helpless to stop this illegal practise.”

Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) Chief Officer Syed Shafqat Raza said that they were responsible to check the city areas only. “Rawat Cattle Market is not in our limits therefore we can’t do anything about it,” he added.

Meanwhile, private contractors Chaudhry Ilyas, Chaudhry Ejaz Muhammad Shoib also claimed they paid a hefty amount to Cantonment Board Management (CBM), Rawalpindi for award of the contract.

They asked this scribe to pose all questions to Cantonment Board Management (CBM). We have paid huge amount to CBM to get contract of Rawat and Mandra cattle markets and we will charge the tax, they said.

Talking to ‘The News’, Muhammad Rafiq, a buyer said that he purchased a bull at Rs100,000 from Rawat Cattle Market and was made to pay 7 per cent tax on it. “There are dozens of guards with guns who charge the tax forcibly otherwise nobody is allowed to come out of the market with their animal,” he complained.

He appealed to Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar to suo moto notice over the issue and direct authorities concerned to check this open violation of government orders on Eidul Azha. They also demanded an action against departments for not moving against this powerful mafia.

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