PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan has directed the Excise, Taxation and Narcotics Control department to modernize the tax collection system by introducing E-Initiatives so as to extend the maximum facilitation to tax payers.
He also directed the authorities concerned to undertake a comprehensive review of all prevailing laws and rules and propose necessary amendments to bring them at par with contemporary needs.
Chairing a progress review meeting of the Excise department here on Tuesday, the Chief Minister clarified that the incumbent provincial government is committed to rooting out the menace of drugs in the province, adding that all available resources will be put to use to safeguard the younger generation against this nuisance.
Advisor to the CM on Excise & Taxation Mian Khaleeq ur Rehman, Principal Secretary to CM Amjad Ali Khan, Secretary Excise & Taxation Adeel Shah and other concerned senior officials attended the meeting. While briefing the meeting on the reform initiatives of the Excise, Taxation and Narcotics control department, it was informed that under the Universal Number Plate Initiative, 5000 Universal Number Plates have been issued whereas the issuance of additional 35,000 Number Plates is in progress.
The participants were also briefed about the steps taken for Narcotics Control and it was told that as per the instructions of the provincial government, the Excise department has tightened the noose around the drug peddlers and drug smuggling. During the last one month, 40 cases have been registered against drug traffickers and peddlers, 50 accused arrested while 33 vehicles used in Narcotics smuggling have been seized.
Similarly, in the same period, 246 Kg of hashish, 60 Kg of heroin, 104 Kg of opium and around 10 Kg of crystal meth (ice) were also confiscated. As per the instructions of the Chief Minister, intelligence-based targeted operations are being carried out for narcotics seizures. Since August 2020, 674 cases have been registered and 742 individuals arrested while 411 vehicles used in drug smuggling have been apprehended. Similarly, during the same period, 5685 Kg of Hashish, 601 Kg Heroin, 359 Kg Opium, 206 Kg Ice and 960 Liters of Alcohol were seized.
Briefing the participants about tax collection by the Excise department, it was informed that during the current fiscal year, Excise department has made significant increase in tax recovery. Rs.1182 million has been collected in the first four months of the current financial year, which is 15% higher than the tax collected in the last financial year during the corresponding period.
Touching upon the legislative progress of the department, the participants apprised that Establishment of Excise Police Station Rules 2020, Asset Administration & Management Rules 2021, Disposal of Vehicles & Other Articles Rules 2021, Reward Rules 2020 and Rehabilitation Centre Rules 2021 have been vetted and approved by the Chief Minister for placement before the provincial cabinet.
Moreover, Regulation of Drugs of Abuse Rules, Controlled Chemicals Rules, Equipment & Materials Rules 2021 have been drafted and are in the vetting stage. The meeting also took a detailed review of the development schemes of the Excise department. The Chief Minister directed the authorities of the Excise department to take steps for the strengthening of its Narcotics wing and ramp up actions against Narcotics, further directing them to post officers and officials of well repute on key posts for the purpose.