NCP vehicles are non-custom-paid vehicles. The meaning of the word NCP is quite simple. When these vehicles enter Pakistan through Afghanistan and Balochistan borders, their custom duty is not paid. To elaborate, this empowers individuals to buy luxury vehicles and SUVs at a lower rate. In other words, you can buy a Land Cruiser at the same price you would legally buy a Suzuki Cultus.

Normally these vehicles are imported from Dubai and Japan, yet Balochistan and Afghanistan borders are utilised to import these vehicles without legal paperwork. The computerised registration of these vehicles is then done using high-level political acquaintances.

That means, Toyota Mark X is prepared to roll on the streets with registration, with nearly zero chance of getting caught or even stopped by the Police or Customs officials because firstly, these officers think twice before stopping a SUV or a Luxury car. Secondly, since this vehicle is not stolen in Pakistan and did not come through an appropriate channel so Custom does not have any record of it.

A considerable number of businessmen, landlords, politicians and government officials are driving NCP vehicles in my city, Islamabad. There are individuals who acquire millions through Chaman, which is the hub of such activities. They purchase these vehicles from there, get them registered and then sell them at the legal price in markets. This brings them inconceivable profits. This is highly unfair to law-abiding civilians without any contact or links to the government as they pay legal amount, which includes the Custom-duty, for their vehicles.

The solution is to decrease the customs duty or to advise the local manufacturers to improve quality. The amnesty scheme offered in 2012 was another successful way out for owners in legalising their SUVs. Almost 90,000 vehicles were registered in that era and, therefore, more such schemes should be introduced.

Although the scandal of NCP vehicles cannot be permanently stopped and strict vigil around the border should be enforced.

Mishal Kamran
Islamabad

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2016

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