Vehicle registration: Resupply of number plates delayed again

Backlog for registration plates hits two million.

Rameez Khan July 11, 2013
The department stopped handing out new registration plates to cars in March 2013 and for motorcycles in February 2012. PHOTO: RASHID AJMERI/EXPRESS


The Excise and Taxation Department has pushed back the estimated date at which it will be able to establish a supply of vehicle registration plates, as it has yet to decide which bidder to award the contract to.

The department stopped handing out new registration plates to cars in March 2013 and for motorcycles in February 2012.

Officials estimate that there is a backlog of some two million plates.

Bids for the contract to supply number plates were received from four companies in May and sent to a German company for certification. Excise and Taxation Department Director General Humayun Mazhar Sheikh told The Express Tribune then that new plates would be available in about three months.

More than six weeks later, the supply is nowhere nearer. “In three more months, we will start issuing plates and start clearing the backlog,” Sheikh told The Express Tribune on Thursday.

The DG had said back in May that the test results from Germany would be available by the end of June and the financial bids would be decided in about a week after that. Though the test results did arrive at the end of June, no decision has been made on the bids.

Sheikh said that the department was “busy in meetings” so they did not have time to select the successful bid. He said that they would be decided in two or three days.

Other department officials said that the technical evaluation of the bids was complete.

Once the department selects the winning bid, the contract agreement would be sent to Law Department for vetting, a process which would take seven to 10 days, they said.

The successful company would then be given the purchase order, at which point it will have two months to start supplying the plates.

Sheikh said that all four bidders   AGCN, Inbox, Symbol and 3M   had passed the ISO certification tests in Germany. He said that 3M, its previous supplier, would not be chosen as it had gone into litigation with the department over its blacklisting.

The contractor would supply 150,000 plates to the department every month.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2013.

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