LAHORE: The Excise and Taxation authorities have failed to issue original registration books to owners of more than 30,000 non-custom paid (NCP) vehicles, cleared under amnesty scheme announced by the previous government.
The owners of these vehicles have expressed concern over the inordinate delay in the issuance of original registration books for their respective vehicles despite clearance. However, the Excise and Taxation authorities argued that since the matter was sub judice, they could not take any action in this regard until a final verdict was declared of the court or the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman issued clear directions.
It is to be noted that around 30,000 non-custom paid (NCP) vehicles were legalised following a Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) by the FBR introducing the amnesty scheme.
The vehicles owners complained that the E&T office did not issue registration books and number plates despite paying all the due for the purpose. Most of the vehicles had been allotted computerised registration numbers but still awaiting registration books. They were of the view that without having original registration books, they were faced with a number of problems while driving on the roads.
However, Excise and Taxation Director (Region-C) Imran Aslam told a local news agency that the Excise and Taxation Lahore region had been registering and issuing books as well as number plates to all Amnesty Scheme’s vehicles till order of the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) single bench. After the registration of a vehicle, he explained that the Excise and Taxation office usually complete the process of registration book and computerised number plates within two to four weeks.
To a question, he said that the E&T office Lahore had been holding around 100 registration books and number plates of amnesty scheme’s vehicles, which were in the pipeline, when the IHC single bench issued order barring the E&T Department from registering these vehicles.
To another question, Imran Aslam argued that though the Islamabad High Court’s double bench had suspended the order of the single-bench, the E&T offices could not move forward till the time the honourable court issued a final decision in this regard. Secondly, he added that they had not so far received any notification or a clear guideline from the competent authority (the FBR Chairman) regarding issuance of the original registration books and computerised number plates to the vehicles cleared under the Amnesty Scheme.
The E&T Lahore Director (Region-C) said that they would neither go against the law nor take any step that was tantamount to contempt of court. He asserted that matter of pending registration books would be settled down accordingly as soon the honourable court gave a final decision or they get any guideline by the FBR Chairman.