KARACHI: Excise, Taxation and Narcotics Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla on Tuesday denied that there was massive corruption in motor vehicle department and that extra amount was being charged from people for vehicle registration.

Furnishing a statement and replies to the lawmakers’ written and verbal queries during the Sindh Assembly’s Question Hour, he said that there was no corruption in the motor vehicle department as the entire system was computerised.

“Registration of vehicle and its transfer as well [as] tax payments are auto calculated and all payments are being collected and deposited in the government treasury,” he added.

A PTI lawmaker alleges that officials charge Rs6,000 extra for a vehicle’s registration

The minister did not agree with Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Khurram Sher Zaman who alleged that the officials at the motor vehicle department were charging at least Rs6,000 extra for the registration of a vehicle.

The PTI lawmaker said that corruption was rampant in the excise department and that the officials ran here and there when he had himself visited the motor vehicle department.

“He is not telling truth,” the minister snapped.

Separately, Mr Chawla said that motor vehicles were also registered in all regional and district headquarters of the province. “Motoring people may also pay motor vehicle tax in any district across the province as well as in various branches of the National Bank of Pakistan in Karachi and Hyderabad,” he added.

Over 220,000 cars, bikes registered in 2018 first half

To a written question asked by Mr Zaman on behalf of PTI member Rabistan Khan, who was absent in the house, the minister said that as many as 39,096 cars, 181,352 motorcycles and 109 buses were registered in Karachi, Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas between Jan 18, 2018 and June 30, 2018.

He said that a sum of Rs195.589 million was collected as the registration fee from the cars, bikes and buses.

To a supplementary question by Mr Zaman, the minister said that over 70,000 registration number plates were lying at the excise department’s warehouse.

He said that bids had been invited for the number plates for newly registered vehicles and the backlog would end in the next two months.

In reply to another question, Mr Chawla said that registration fee for cars and jeeps up to 1,300CC was one per cent of the value of the vehicle, while the fee for vehicles up to 1,300CC to 2,500CC was 2pc of the value of the vehicle.

He said that the registration fee for trucks, buses, pickups, auto-rickshaws, vans, dumpers, excavators, cranes and all other commercial vehicles was 1pc of the value of the vehicle.

To a question by Pakistan Peoples Party’s member Ghazala Siyal, the minister said that bed tax on hotels was earlier collected by the excise and taxation department, but it was later abolished vide the Sindh Finance Act on July 16, 2013.

When asked verbally by Ms Siyal, he said that now the bed tax on hotels was being collected by the Sindh Revenue Board.

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2019