Lack of funds upsetting excise dept operations

KARACHI: Sindh government’s excise department is facing hindrance in carrying out its operation due to shortage of funds. According to sources, the excise department is facing difficulty in performing its day to day duties as funds granted by the provincial government are yet to be released by finance department.

According to a data available with PPI, 38780 motorcycles were registered by the department within January and February, 2014. It includes 21809 motorcycles registered in January and 17,971 in February and the department had received Rs 300 for a number plate.

However, the department had not issued these number motorcycle plates and sources said that the current situation would continue till August until the tender is issued and process in this regard would be completed.

They said that the excise officials were not issuing number plates and were asking people to get number plates from vendors sitting outside Civic Centre.

Meanwhile, when contacted, Deputy Director Excise Waheed Shaikh admitted that the department was facing a shortage of funds.

He said that the government had allocated Rs 2.5 million for stationary, Rs 50 million for printing registration books, Rs 50 million for motorcycle number plates and Rs 12.5 million for four-wheel vehicle number plates. He said that the government had approved Rs 1 million for stationary, Rs 15 million for registration books, Rs 15 million for two-wheeler number plates and Rs 8 million for four-wheeler number plates.

Shaikh said the department had not yet received those amounts, however, a summary had been approved by Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah for granting these funds and the department would receive them within a week.

He said that only 20, 000 motorcycle number plates were not issued and the matter would be resolved soon after the funds would be available within weeks.

The deputy director excise said that lack of funds were disturbing the operations in the excise department as even the less amount of stationary was left in the department.

“Printing of registration books also faced a setback as non-payment prompted printing press to halt printing of registration of books but later the matter was resolved and we had assured them to pay their amount soon.”

Meanwhile, secretary revenue department Sohail Rajput and Minister for Excise, Taxation and Narcotics, Mukesh Kumar Chawla, were not available for comments despite repeated attempts.

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