VEHARI-Due to corruption in the Excise and Taxation (E&T) Department, the officials refuse to discharge their duty without the involvement of the agents found roaming in and outside the office.

Citizens, lawyers and social activists protested against the mafia and demanded stern action against the tout mafia in Vehari Excise office. They said that many agents impersonating as government officials are looting the public and demanded end to the tout culture. Excise inspector is involved in corrupt practice, they alleged. They demanded inquiry into token and tax fraud in different colonies wherein excise officials had issued fake receipts against payment and token and property taxes.

Citizens said that Vehari city is considered good market of used tractors, vehicles parts; the dealers with the assistance of excise officers sell tractors, vehicles and others against fake receipts and registration numbers. Excise officials overcharge for the new registration of vehicles, motorbikes and others; and they also charge huge amount from transporters who want to save token tax, he added.

Malik Tanvir Bhara Advocate said excise inspector Chaudhry Mahboob was appointed in the excise office about 10 years ago and he had made property worth millions of rupees in short span of time. He also black-mailed the transporters and others and received bribe, the advocate alleged. He demanded the Punjab chief minister should take note of the corruption.

The citizens claimed that the agents who sit in and outside the excise office are very influential. The agents receive hundreds of rupees from the people who come to excise office for the registration of their vehicles, bikes etc. One Imran contacted to ETO to get information about a motorcycle registration, but he was denied on the pretext that the record keeper was unavailable.

When he paid Rs100 to an agent he provided him details within five minutes, he disclosed, saying that people face lot of difficulties due to negligence of the excise officials. Agents they set up their permanent offices in the shops illegally and they are doing their business without any hesitation, he said.

According to citizens, the excise officials make regular payment to their high-ups to carry on their business without any fear. However, the Anti-Corruption Department in front of excise office does not take action.

It is learnt that transporters are regular customers of excise office as they pay huge sums to avoid payment of various taxes. When contacted, ETO Vehari denied the allegations however he was reluctant to explain the involvement of agents in the official affairs. An agent said they helped the people in preparing documents.