Excise fails to relieve citizen, left people at tout’s mercy

ISLAMABAD, Sep 15 (APP):The Excise and Taxation (E&T) department, Islamabad, that is supposed to facilitate the taxpayers by all means has left people at the mercy of touts to get token for registration of their vehicles.
By now, the department has not installed any digital system to save them from a daylong inconvenience faced before having an appointment.
The visitors have expressed concern over the fast growing activities of tout mafia around the excise office due to negligence of the authorities concerned.
They alleged that agent-mafia also extorts money for the registration of vehicles in collusion with the concerned officials.

They were of a view that, citizens were the easiest target of those agents, as they remain present every time in the vicinity of office to target the visitors pretending to be excise officials.
Babar Ali, a victim of the agent mafia, told APP that he submitted his vehicle token tax through an agent who met him inside the Excise office.
“After few months, he said, he again visited the office for the transfer of his car where he was informed that his token tax was still pending.

Wasif, another visitor at the office said, just to change the ownership of a car, it takes a whole day, where the owner is forced to stand 3 times in different lines in this hot humid weather, which is completely disappointing.
“Rather to repeat self appreciation posts on social media regarding tax collection, the officials should concentrate on resolving the public grievances, he added.

Furqan, an appellant at the office said that, the department has failed to deliver its all services in true spirit that had aggravated the problems of general public.
“It was announced that excise office will remain open till 8.00 pm for token renewal, but the ground realities were totally contradicted to that”, he regretted.

Director Excise and Taxation, Bilal Azam said, in recent raid, 12 touts were held from the vicinity of E&T office, following citizen’s complaints against self-made agents who minted money off the public in lieu of helping them.

Special directions have already been issued to all officials to ensure the transparency in their work.
He appealed the visitors to lodge complaints against the black-sheep of the department, so the legal actions could be initiated against the culprits.
“A vigilance cell was also working to monitor the situation outside and inside the department”, he said.
Azam said an online appointment system for vehicle registration had been introduced to avoid public inconvenience.

This system would enable the motorists to get online appointment for vehicle registration instead of
waiting in long queues.
He said, a special counter had set up for the persons with disabilities to entertain them through one window operation.

Such persons would be provided with wheel chairs as well for easy mobility in the office, he added.
He hoped that this new initiative would not only promote the tax culture but would also bring evolution in tax management system.
“It is our top priority to build public confidence and promote tax culture,” he added.

Moeen, an old visitor said, better sitting arrangement should be provided to the visitors where they can sit and wait for their turn rather standing in queues for hour with fighting each other.
Screens should be displayed before the visitors to monitor the token system, he suggested.
The use of Information Technology must consider, avoiding long queues to facilitate tax payers, he said.
He urged to Director ETO and Commissioner to review the procedures and make the process easier with better facilities.

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