Nearly a month after initiating a campaign against fancy and old registration plates in the capital, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has ordered to investigate irregularities in the process of awarding the contract and collecting additional fees from the applicants.
Taking notice of the complaints regarding embezzlement in awarding a contract for vehicle registration plates in the Excise and Taxation Department (E&TD) of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), the minister has sought a report from the chief commissioner and deputy commissioner. In a statement issued on Monday, the minister directed that the excise department collect Rs800 to issue new number plates instead of Rs1,300 currently charged until an inquiry into the matter has been completed and a new tender is issued. Moreover, he directed the chief commissioner to ensure transparency in awarding a new contract for registration plates by holding an open bid in line with the prescribed rules and regulations.
This notice was taken after the interior ministry received complaints that the E&TD was charging extra sum from applicants to issue new number plates as part of its ongoing drive against fancy number plates and older registration plates.
Owing to issues the Safe Security project was having in reading older number plates lacking security features, the government had directed that all such cars should change their registration plates.
The police had subsequently launched a crackdown in the capital against these number plates, forcing motorists to remove them. But with police officials and the public not thoroughly briefed about the new features, sheer confusion was seen amongst the authorities and motorists.
A motorist, Arslan, told The Express Tribute that he was stopped at a police check post on Margalla Road on Sunday morning where police officials asked him whether the number plate of his motorcycle was computerised or not. But when he asked what the difference between the two, the officers also drew a blank.
Last month, Nisar had ordered the Islamabad Police to take action against unregistered vehicles being driven in the capital.