LAHORE  - Director General Punjab Excise and Taxation Department has started half-hearted inquiry into an embezzlement worth millions of rupees happened in motor branch of the department, said sources in the E&T on Monday. Sources said that inquiry was divided into two parts and two different Investigation Officers were assigned duty to investigate the accused. Apart from this as per Excise sources excise Data Entry Operators (DEO) and Motor Transport Clerks embezzled more than Rs6 million but charge sheet of E&T department depicted loss caused to national exchequer was only Rs. 2.8 million approximately, said a senior officer of E&T seeking anonymity.

It is worth mentioning here that despite the fact that embezzlement was unearthed some eight to nine months back but inquiry was being initiated now due to reasons best known to E&T management.

The most interesting thing of the inquiry was that three DEOs allegedly involved in the scam were not even grilled with other accused including Adeel Rafique, Zahid Hussain and Imran, an officer of the E&T said. Though the accused have been suspended but they were attending office and involved in their heinous business of earning money from visitors.

According to sources, a person came at Excise Office Fareed Court House Lahore to pay token tax of his vehicle.  The Excise Dept found the stamp of the previous year token tax receipt doubtful. The stamp on receipt was of Qartba Chowk Post Office. The Director Excise and Taxation sent his employee to related post office to check the credibility of the stamp. Post Master sent a written reply that this stamp is not of his office and it is fake one. More bogus receipts of different post offices like Kasur, Thokar Niaz Baig, Raiwind and Multan Road have also been detected by the Excise officials. Agent mafia outside the Excise office is involved in this fraud because people rely on these agents due to heavy rush inside the office. They hand over the registration books to the agents and fell prey to fraud. Director General Excise and Taxation, Ahmad Aziz Tarar has started inquiry but divided it into two parts. As per instructions of the DG formed inquiry committee headed by Additional DG, Massod-ul-Haq among the members included Ch. Asif and Excise and Taxation Officer (ETO) Technical, Naveed Ahmad. But Additional DG would listen the 8 DEOs while Director Region C, Ch. Asif would interrogate 5 Motor Transport Clerks (MTC). Nature of corruption was same but inquiry was divided into two parts.

Talking to The Nation Additional DG, Masood-ul-Haq said that there was perception that there was huge corruption in this case but as per charge sheet it was not worth more than Rs2.8 million. To a question that why inquiry was divided into two parts he said it could be due to the powers of different officers. Like DG, Additional DG could look into the cases of DEOs while Director was authorised to probe the issues of clerks.

Responding to another question that why some DEOs were exonerated before hearing he said only DG Excise who is authority would comment on it.