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SMBR sanctions purchase of 93 costly vehicles for its members, DCs, ADCs

Instead of vehicles govt should establish revenue police to protect state lands: Former Member Colonies

The Board of Revenue (BOR) Punjab has approved the purchase of 93 new expensive vehicles for its members, Deputy Commissioners (DCs) and Additional Deputy Commissioners (ADCs) Revenue. It will cost about one billion rupees from the exchequer.

According to the official documents, forty Fortuner petrol vehicles will be purchased for deputy commissioners at a cost of Rs 533 million, 12 Corolla X vehicles for board members at a cost of Rs 58 million and one vehicle cost will be around five million rupees.

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Likewise, forty vehicles will be purchased for additional deputy commissioner revenue and one vehicle for assistant commissioner Kot Addu. These vehicles will be Hilux Revo and the cost of each vehicle will be approximately one crore rupees. A total of around forty crore rupees will be spent on the purchase of these vehicles.

According to the documents, about Rs99 crores will be spent on the total vehicles.

These vehicles will also be purchased from Indus Motor Company Limited Lahore.

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It should be noted that the Cabinet’s Standing Committee on Finance and Development has also approved the purchase of forty expensive vehicles for the Chief Minister’s House and ministers, which will cost more than three hundred million rupees. Agreements have been made with Toyota Garden Motors Private Limited, and Indus Motor Company for the purchase.

It should be noted that the Cabinet Committee had also approved the purchase of new vehicles for Board Members, Deputy Commissioners and Additional Deputy Commissioners of Revenue at the request of the Board of Revenue.

After the approval of the committee, Senior Member Board of Revenue (SMBR) Zahid Akhtar Zaman has also formally approved and notified the purchase of vehicles.

Deputy Commissioners and ADCDs are using the vehicles of District Nazim or Mayors in addition to their own vehicles as the local bodies are not working in the province.

Sources said that the Punjab government had already purchased 3,000 cc vehicles for Assistant Commissioners (ACs) of Grade 17. While according to the rules, a grade seventeen officer cannot use a vehicle of more than 1000c. The rules were relaxed for this purpose and 556 million rupees were spent by the Government of Punjab to buy 147 vehicles for ACs.

If we examine the performance of the Board of Revenue, we find that government lands have been grabbed indiscriminately. During the tenure of senior member Babar Hayat Tarrar, the anti-corruption and revenue officials together had evacuated nearly two lakh acres of government land from the encroachment mafia, which is estimated to be worth around five hundred billion rupees.

A senior officer of the Board of Revenue on anonymity said that around 4200 acres of urban land, while one hundred and eighty-seven thousand acres of rural land, were occupied illegally by the land mafia. He said that the value of government urban land is 70 billion rupees while that of occupied rural land is 425 billion rupees. He said that this government estimate is according to the lowest rates and if the land is estimated according to commercial rates, it becomes several times higher.

Answering a question, he said that many politicians or supporters of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have been found involved in occupying government lands, besides common people, including influential landowners. They have also occupied government lands. He said that after the departure of Babar Hayat Tarar from the Board of Revenue, the campaign regarding the retrieval of government lands has become very slow.

When contacted, the SMBR was not available to respond, while a former Member of the Colonies, a custodian of state lands, said on condition of anonymity that due to poor policies and strategies of the Board of Revenue, the Punjab government has to establish the Punjab Land Record Authority. He said that the officials of the government are found involved in the occupation of government lands. It seems that there is no adequate government check on the affairs of the Board of Revenue, its field formations and the politicians in the government and especially those who occupy some government land, including the officials, patwaris, tehsildars, etc. They also do receive their share, he confessed. he said that state lands of the different departments have been occupied by influential. He said that alone over 4000 acres of Punjab Seed Corporation have been illegally occupied by the grabbers. He said that the board has badly failed to protect state lands. Instead of purchasing costly vehicles for the officers of the revenue department, the government should establish a revenue police to protect state lands worth billions of rupees.



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