Sialkot           -              The Punjab government’s plan to set up excise and taxation and narcotics police stations at divisional headquarters in the province is in doldrums for the last several years.

A senior officer of Excise and Taxation Department said that a couple of years ago, the Punjab government had planned to set up the excise and taxation and narcotics police stations in province on divisional headquarter levels, besides setting up the special checkposts at all the entry and exit points of the divisional headquarters to curb the flow of narcotics across the province.

The Excise and Taxation Department had also sent the detailed feasibility reports to the government for this purpose after the provincial government had allocated the special funds for purchasing the official vehicles and furniture as well. Despite passage of five years, the said excise and taxation and narcotics police stations have not been set up and the project is still lying in doldrums and a victim of traditional red-tapism.

A spokesman of Excise and Taxation Department said that the government of the Punjab had announced to set up the excise and taxation and narcotics police stations on divisional headquarters in 2010 but the matter of establishing police stations is pending although the government has received feasibility report. The government has also received proposals from public in favour of establishing such police stations.

The spokesman said establishment of excise and taxation and narcotics police stations could help control narcotics smuggling and its sale. He said it could also enhance collection of excise duty and taxes from the defaulters. He was of the view that establishment of such police stations will act as a deterrent for narcotics smugglers and sellers as well as defaulters of the department.

An official of Excise and Taxation Department Sialkot Asad Chaudhry said that the excise and taxation and narcotics police stations will be set up soon because the Punjab government had intention and will to fulfil this demand. He said stations will be set up in the premises of Excise and Taxation Department offices. He added that the teams had compleed survey of office premises to set up police stations and hoped that construction work will start soon.

An excise and taxation officer (ETO) would be in charge at the police station with an assistant ETO, four inspectors and 15 junior officers.

An official of E&T department said special excise check-posts which earlier existed in 2004, would also be revived. The checkposts would be set up at eight to nine entry points of the province, including Mianwali, DG Khan, Raheem Yar Khan, and Attock districts.

He said a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the police stations and checkpoints had also been finalised.