LAHORE: Complacency and negligence on part of the Excise, Taxation and Narcotics Department’s (NTNCD) is costing the Punjab government millions of rupees in revenue.
About 300,000 vehicles across 36 districts of Punjab, including Lahore, were moving on the roads without paying the annual token tax. These vehicles included cars, buses, vans, lorries, trucks, auto-rickshaws and other modes of transportation. Not only private but vehicles used by government officers and departments were also included in the list.
Despite the registration of vehicles and the tax collected from the entire process, the Excise police were often not present at the entry and exit points of various cities of the province to check whether the token tax of vehicles had been paid or not.
In the past, Excise police regularly check traffic at these points and forced the vehicle owners to pay the token tax on an urgent basis, which added vital funds to the exchequer.
Their absence had provided the vehicle owners, who avoid paying tax, with an opportunity to travel freely and go unchecked.
Sources have reported that most of these vehicles were owned by politicians, government officers, and other influential people. In case they were checked, they simply got away by threatening the police personnel of dire consequences, including promoting them to another place through a single phone call.
Motor Branch Director Qamarul Hassan said that the issue of increasing number of tax defaulters emerged before my appointment. However, he said that we have requested the Excise director general (DG) and secretary to take quick measures to collect the tax and take strict action against the defaulters.
He also said that most of these vehicles were being used in other provinces, outside Punjab, and did not enter the province. Further, he also accepted that many vehicles evaded or got away from police personnel on the checkpoints placed at the entrances of the city.