BAHAWALPUR - The fear of disqualification and rejection of nomination papers for general elections prompted political big guns to clear off their outstanding agriculture taxes in Rahim Yar Khan district.

This blessing in disguise has helped the department collect Rs40 million in the head of agriculture tax, which otherwise, could never has been materialised had it not been election days.

As per detail, as a result of the Election Commission's unambiguous criterion and strict implementation of its code of conduct, political big guns in Rahim Yar Khan rushed to pay off their outstanding agriculture taxes to avert the possibility of disqualification and rejection of nomination papers. It is to be noted that various members of the assemblies and candidates of the upcoming elections were not paying off their agricultural income tax from the last 3 years.

According to details, former Federal Minister Makhdoom Shahab Uddin deposited Rs5.4 million in the head of agricultural tax, his son Makhdoom Tahir Rashid deposited Rs8,44,050, PPP MPA from PP-291 Makhdoom Irtaza Hashmi paid off Rs1.4 million and PML-N Senator Jaffar Iqbal Gujjar's family deposited Rs1.8 million in agriculture tax dues. Similarly PML-N candidate from NA-196 Mina Imtiaz Ahmad deposited Rs968,650 and former Federal Minister Raees Munir paid Rs2.4 million in agricultural taxes.

In Tehsil Rahim Yar Khan, the elections aspirants of different parties have paid off outstanding dues in the head of Agriculture tax amounting to Rs14.5 million. Details of the amount is as per, Mehmoodul Hassan paid off Rs66, Muhammad Imtiaz deposited Rs80,500, Irshad Ahmad deposited Rs69,620, former MNA from NA-196 deposited Rs44,0250, Amjad Iqbal Rs1,53000, Makhdoom Moeen Uddin Hashmi Rs9,38,050, Makhdoom Musharraf Hussain deposited Rs2,85,450, former Tehsil Nazim Mian Ijaz Aamir deposited Rs9,81,450 and Chaudhry Rehmat Ullah deposited Rs541,750.

Similarly, expected candidates cleared outstanding agriculture tax amounting to Rs861,900 in Tehsil Sadiqabad, Rs8 million in Tehsil Khanpur and in Tehsil Liaquatpur would-be candidates paid off Rs8.3 million agriculture tax arrears.

IUB preserving unique cultural heritage: The IUB College of Art and Design is playing its due role to preserve and introduce the unique cultural heritage of area at broader canvas.  IUB Vice-Chancellor Dr Muhammad Mukhtar stated this at a reception held for the delegation of National Institute of Art and Design, Lahore.

The VC remarked that thousands-year-old Hakkarra Valley was considered to be among the most civilized societies of that era and its remaining could be easily found in the Cholistan Desert. He said that Bahawalpur was famous as custodian for the rich culture and civilized society of Hakkarra Valley. He said the area was an attraction for the tourists, researchers, historians and archeologists due to rich historical background. Earlier, IUB College of Art and Design Principal DrNasarullah Khan Nasir disclosed that college was producing unique forms of fabric and fashion designing, including block-printing that impressed the fashion experts.

The delegation also visited nearby areas like Kehrorr Pakka and Abbas Nagar to view the art and craft work and appreciated the designers' work. On the occasion, Hassan Ali Quraishi also briefed the delegation about the ongoing activities of the College.