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Numerous non-custom paid vehicles in Jamrud market. -Photo by Dawn
Numerous non-custom paid vehicles in Jamrud market. -Photo by Dawn

LANDI KOTAL: People from different parts of the country have thronged Wazir Dhand Market in Jamrud tehsil of Khyber Agency to buy the Federal Board of Revenue announced tax amnesty for such vehicles. “The prices of all types of such vehicles in Wazir Dhand have doubled as the demand has increased manifold after the amnesty scheme announced by the government in the beginning of this month,” Haji Afsar Khan, owner of a car sale centre, told Dawn on Wednesday.

He said that 35 to 50 vehicles of various models and brands were sold at Wazir Dhand Market on daily basis.

“We have customers from almost every part of the country and thus having a roaring business for the last two weeks,” a beaming Mr Khan said.

The owners of non-custom paid vehicle were directed to bring their vehicles to the National Logistic Cell (NLC) terminal in Jamrud for verification and issuance of No Objection Certificate and legal documents after the payment of custom duty at the specified bank branches.

But 28-year-old Farid Khan, a resident of Landi Kotal, told Dawn at the NLC terminal that verification, examination and assessment process of their vehicle was very slow and time consuming.

He said that he had submitted his documents to officials and deposited money on March 20 but he was still waiting for issuance of NOC and vehicle registration.

Similar complaints were made by Mohammad Ikram, a young taxi driver, who had brought his taxicab to the NLC terminal for registration on March 18.

He alleged that the staff at the offices was not providing them proper and accurate information about the status of their ‘case’.

However, Iftikhar Khan, superintendent of Customs department, told Dawn that the verification process required time and attention.

“We want to be fully sure that the vehicle is neither a stolen one nor its engine is tempered with,” he said, adding that loadshedding of electricity and slow net speed had affected the process of registration.

The official said that out of the total 498 vehicles parked at the NLC compound, 184 had so far been cleared and were issued legal documents.

Local political administration had over the years issued temporary route permits to such vehicles allowing them to ply between Torkham and Jamrud. However, these vehicles were not allowed to cross into Peshawar district.

The drivers and owners also complained that they were unduly charged Rs1,000 for a night parking by the NLC staff.

But a security official at the terminal said that proper receipt of the parking amount was issued to the owner of the vehicle at the completion of verification process.

It was also learnt that officials had made arrangements at Customs House in Landi Kotal to reduce rush at NLC terminal in Jamrud.

“Our staff has started verification of vehicles at Landi Kotal from today and we intend to clear maximum number of such vehicles in the shortest possible time,” officials in Jamrud said.

Earlier, vehicle owners had complained that Khasadar and FC personnel posted at various checkposts along Peshawar-Landi Kotal Road were demanding unlawful money from them in lieu of granting them permission to take their vehicle to the NLC terminal in Jamrud.

The officials said that they had taken serious notice of khasadars’ involvement in fleecing the vehicle owners and requested the Customs officials to make arrangements for clearance of vehicles in Landi Kotal.