KARACHI: Over 15,000 vehicles owned by the federal and provincial governments and their various agencies are plying the roads without the official registration plates as they have yet to collect them from the Excise and Taxation (E&T) Department.
At the top of the list among these departments is the Sindh Police, which is currently using 8,000 vehicles without the official registration plates in various districts of the province.
According to the E&T’s records, the vehicles in question have been registered over four years, between 2015 and 2018, but the various government departments and agencies haven’t bothered to collect the plates from the E&T Department.
Sindh Minister for Excise and Taxation Mukesh Kumar Chawla has even announced on the floor of the Sindh Assembly that government agencies and civilians should collect the official registration plates for their cars but no one seems to have taken heed.
According to the records, the official registration plates of the cars in the use of the Sindh Police Department, comprising the series of SPH, SPG, SPF, SPE, SPD, SPC, SPB and SPA, haven’t been collected from Excise and Taxation Department as yet. Meanwhile, vehicles in the use of Pakistan Standard Quality Control Authority, Ministry of Railways and Aviation Division are also plying the roads with temporary number plates.
Meanwhile, the Sindh government’s own agencies include the Education and Literacy Department, Department of College Education, local government, Culture Department, Health Department, Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Youth Development Programme, Anti-Corruption Establishment, Law department, Sindh Labour Department, Services and General Administration and others. The vehicles bearing temporary number plates instead of official registration plates are in the use of senior bureaucrats and other officials.
The cars registered in the names of provincial and federal departments include the registration numbers from the series – GSF, GSE, GSD, GSC, GSB, GSA and GPA.
According to Chawla, the department has more than 70,000 such number plates whose owners haven’t reached out to the department to collect them. Using unofficial number plates is a violation of the law. However, the E&T Department seems reluctant to take any action against the federal and provincial agencies for plying vehicles without official number plates.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 13th, 2019.