While Lahore Police has seized thousands of unregistered motorcycles over the last few weeks, it is yet to get its own new vehicles registered, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The Lahore Police received 45 new pick-up trucks two to three months ago and these are being used by the operations wings of police stations. Many of these trucks bear number plates that the police assigned themselves, while many bear no plates. They have not been registered with the Excise and Taxation office.
According to the Provincial Motor Vehicles Ordinance of 1965, all vehicles belonging to government or semi-government departments must be registered before they can be used.
Token tax for vehicles above 2,000cc is calculated at 4 per cent of the invoice price of the vehicle. Registering the 45 pick-up trucks would cost millions of rupees.
Qamarul Hasan of the Motor Registration Authority (New Cars) told The Express Tribune that all vehicles had to be registered with the Excise and Taxation Department.
He said that government vehicles running without number plates set a bad example for others. He said that if E&T officials caught a government vehicle without a registration plate, they would not spare them.
Excise and Taxation Department can impound any unregistered vehicle its officials catch on the road. Registering a vehicle more than 60 days after buying it incurs a fine of Rs2,000, while registering it more than 180 days after purchase incurs a fine of Rs5,000.
The police are not alone in running unregistered vehicles. The Lahore Waste Management Company is operating unregistered mini-trucks. The company received these trucks and other vehicles, totalling around 450, back in 2010.
SP (Headquarters) Hasan Mushtaq Sukhaira said that the 45 vehicles had been given to seven model police stations and other police stations in high-crime areas. He said that the trucks would be registered “soon”.
Asked why they were using fake number plates, he said that they were not meant to deceive anyone, but merely to keep a record of the vehicles within the police. The LHQ series of registration plates was given out by the Excise and Taxation office in 1985.
SSP (Operations) Sohail Sukhaira said that the vehicles had not been registered because of budget constraints. “They will be registered when we are given the money for that. Meanwhile we still need to use them in order to protect and serve the public,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Lahore Police has conducted an extensive campaign over the last few weeks of impounding unregistered bikes, whether on the roads or at parking areas. The campaign was initiated by the new capital city police officer. It has also been challenged in the district and sessions courts.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2013.
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