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No vehicle transfers without biometric verification after March 1st

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News Desk |

Biometric verification will be made mandatory for transferring vehicles in the capital by March in order to avoid fraud and the use of vehicles on the open letter.

The Excise and Taxation Department (E&T) has issued a final deadline that vehicles with registration sans biometric verification, would not be allowed to apply after March 1. After the specific date, the previous paper-based system, which was considered convenient for a transaction, will now become obsolete and illegal, said a public notice issued by the Excise Department. Currently, most of the vehicles owners in the Capital were using open letters to buy and sell vehicles without mentioning any date or the buyer of the vehicle, thus allowing transfer of ownership without paying charges or taxes.

The rest of the general public is dependent on buying five to 20-year-old used cars. Besides, 95 percent of the used imported cars are of 660-1000cc which have very good mileage on petrol.

“After the introduction of the policy on March 1, the transfer of vehicles will only be possible after biometric verification,” ETO Director Bilal Azam told a local publication, adding that people do not have to come to ETO for biometric verification and can visit any National Database and Registration Authority office to have their biometrics verified and produce the receipt issued to ETO.

He added that over one million vehicles are registered with the capital’s ETO and that his office registers 400 to 500 vehicles a day. The capital’s ETO has also decided to only register the vehicles of residents of Islamabad.

Read more: Islamabad’s online vehicle verification system closed since August

Though there is a bar on the registration of vehicles belonging to people who do not reside in the capital at the local ETO, the office accepts such applications with affidavits. ETO has introduced an online registration system and residents can now apply from home.

An online tax and token system will also be introduced so that vehicle owners can pay their token tax in the bank or via mobile banking. Currently, the token tax is being paid at ETO or the post office. The previous government had made a similar announcement in March 2018, but owing to various setbacks the initiative wasn’t followed through.

Data of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics exhibits the imports of completely built-up cars (90 percent used cars) to have dropped by 43pc in the first half of the fiscal year 2019.

In another vehicular move, the government of Pakistan has levied tax in dollars on car imports, on which local car importers have expressed dissatisfaction over the Commerce Division of the government of Pakistan’s decision to term payment of the duty and taxes on import of new/used vehicles in foreign exchange mandatory, GVS earlier reported.

Recently, in an attempt to control money laundering, the outflow of foreign exchange through Hundi/Hawala and misuse of the mechanism of transfer of residence/personal baggage and gift scheme for the purpose of commercial imports of vehicles, Commerce Division of Government of Pakistan has made a major change in Import Policy Order.

The rest of the general public is dependent on buying five to 20-year-old used cars. Besides, 95 percent of the used imported cars are of 660-1000cc which have very good mileage on petrol. The 660cc vehicles are not assembled in Pakistan.

Read more: Govt shuts down used car imports

Data of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics exhibits the imports of completely built-up cars (90 percent used cars) to have dropped by 43pc in the first half of the fiscal year 2019. The total imports were $156 million versus $277m in the corresponding fiscal quarter last year.