OKARA: Dozens of property sale/purchase agreement writers and their clerks protested against what they called irresponsible attitude of the administrations of four branches of a bank regarding provision of e-stamp paper.

Since March, the government had halted registration of property sale/purchase. It resumed on May 1 with a special tax reduction from five per cent to 2pc to encourage registration, as the Punjab government suffered a severe shortfallin stamp paper revenue. Only two days are left to register sales deeds at revised tax rates owing to which there were large crowds outside all Bank of Punjab branches in the city.

On the other hand, as per the standard operating procedures for banks, no more than four people could enter a branch, resulting in long queues outside. Staffers at some branches were found directing the stamp paper seekers to go to other branches.

Deed writers Rana Khalid Mahmood, Muhammad Akram Faridi and many others told this correspondent that people were facing hardships in getting e-stamp papers, as the online system had choked owing to heavy traffic.

Some claimed that theBoP Mandi Roadbranch had stopped issuing e-stamp papers three months ago and the bank employees were non-cooperative.

BoP Dipalpur Chowk branch Operations Manager Hammad Khalid claimed that their IT system was uniform across the country and they had not received any complaint. However, he said, sometimes the system crashed due to errors in the main server, slowing it down for a short while due to overloading.

BoP Faisalabad Road Branch Manager Nadeem Aslam Malik told this correspondent the branch remained functional as per routine, e-stamp papers were being issued and no one had complained in this regard.

KILLED: The clerk of a lawyer was shot dead while resisting a robbery on his way home from work on Friday night.

Sakhi Muhammad, 50, was going home to Umer Din Town on a motorcycle when he was intercepted by robbers. The suspects tried to snatch cash and other items, but Muhammad offered resistance at which the men shot at and injured him and fled after taking cash.

City A division police registered a case on the report of victim’s nephew Ghulam Mustafa against the robbers.

Published in Dawn, June 28th, 2020

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