LAHORE: The era of carrying inconvenient registration books of motor vehicles with you comes to an end in Punjab as the excise department replaces the document with a smart card containing 11 security features.
Chief Minister Usman Buzdar formally launched the latest technology-laced card at the excise offices in Shadman here on Tuesday.
“The process of motor vehicles registration has entered a new phase today. Now, the vehicle owners will be issued smart cards instead of registration books, that will eliminate the chances of forgery and theft of vehicles,” he said, after a visit of the facility.
The smart card will have detailed data of the vehicles and the owners stored in its chip, that could be provided to the seeker with just a click.
Mr Buzdar said that a similar card would be launched in the federal capital within a month against payment of Rs1,500 and of Rs695 in Sindh. However, he said, in Punjab an improved version of the card having multifarious features would be issued for just Rs520 within 48 hours by paying the fee in any district of the province.
He said the facility would be extended to all the districts shortly.
Earlier, the excise department would charge Rs300 for a motorcycle registration book and Rs500 for a car’s.
The smart card contains QR code, micro-text, fillip-image and other features as per recommendations of the Punjab Safe City Authority.
Initiated in 2007 by Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi’s government, the project remained shelved for 11 years because of change in government. Then it was planned to have 22 features, including the holder’s driving licence, property and health insurance data, besides working as an ATM card.
Presently, the excise department has the capacity to print 8,000 cards per day. Those desirous of getting replaced their registration books with the smart cards may also apply for it.
Talking to the media after inaugurating the card issuing facility, the chief minister said the issue of audio-tape containing conversation between Law Minister Raja Basharat and Rawalpindi Hospital Medical Superintendent Tariq Niazi on the transfer of Hanif Abbasi’s daughter Dr Areeba would be probed into. He said no illegality would be allowed.
“Everything will be done in accordance with the law and as per findings of the impartial investigation.”
To a question, he claimed all the postings and transfers in the province were being made on merit and according to law.
“Punjab is the largest province which requires posting and transfer for running the administrative setup. But, nothing illegal will be allowed to be done.”
To another question, Mr Buzdar said that he had taken notice of “artificial shortage” of the LPG and increase in its prices in the province and directed the chief secretary to take appropriate action in this respect.
He said that 100-day Punjab plan would be unveiled at a special ceremony to be held on Dec 22 in the city.
Meanwhile, the chief minister presided over a meeting at his office for four hours which reviewed performance of different departments, including revenue, energy, environment, information and culture, excise and taxation and food.
He was given a briefing about the 100-day performance of their respective departments by ministers and the secretaries concerned.
He asked about the performance of each department, its 100-day plan and roadmap.
He directed the departments to submit details of the steps taken with regard to 100-day plan of the government.
He ordered steps for preservation of the multi-faceted folk culture of Punjab, and asked the food department to devise its policy keeping in view future needs of wheat and sugarcane crops.
Published in Dawn, December 19th, 2018