ISLAMABAD: For their alleged involvement with touts at their offices, four officials of the Excise and Taxation Office (ETO) were suspended and 30 will be sacked, said officials in the capital administration on Tuesday.
Deputy Commissioner Islamabad retired Captain Mushtaq Ahmed, who is also director general of the excise department by virtue of his office, visited the department for an inspection.
The DC suspended four officials and ordered an inquiry against them regarding their alleged involvement with touts. According to officials, some time back other officials of the department had been suspended for the same reason and were facing an inquiry.
Other than those suspended or removed from duty, 20 officials are also under suspicion for collaborating with touts. The officials said that those in the department who have been employed there for a long time are also been looked at with suspicion.
“If they have been working at the same place for a long time, they know about what goes on in the department,” one official explained.
Since January 2015, hundreds of touts have been arrested from within the offices of the department in Islamabad.
Sources said these touts had been impersonating government employees and had been working illegally in the department, sometimes even influencing government employees and hence, disrupting the operations of the excise office.
After his visit to the department, DC Ahmed drafted measures for correcting the situation regarding the activity of touts and planned steps for facilitating the public and addressing their grievances.
According to the proposed measures, an independent cell will be established at the DC’s office to address the grievances of the public against the excise department, the sources said.
Staff at the department will be rotated to work inside and outside the department and the presence of an applicant at the time of registering a vehicle will be made mandatory. A biometric system will be procured from the National Database and Registration Authority to check the credentials of an applicant.
Though eight security cameras have already been installed in the offices of the department, more cameras will be installed, especially on counters, to monitor the movement of the public and for staff surveillance, the sources said.
The Excise and Taxation Office is already providing online forms to facilitate the public, the officials said, adding that now applications from banks, companies and government departments will be processed after the submission of a letter of authority from concerned agencies.
The department will be starting a token system for the registration of new vehicles to facilitate the public and the entrance to its offices will be controlled and restricted, the sources said.
Published in Dawn, February 24th, 2016