LAHORE - A piece of legislation by Punjab Assembly on Thursday granted legal cover to show of vanity by status conscious individuals who have been allowed to display such number plates on their motor vehicles which are marked with the title of their choice.

In the legal jargon, these distinctive number plates would be called ‘personalised vanity plates’ that would be allowed to some egoistic individuals against payment of a certain amount which may exceed Rs 100,000.

Under this legislation, they would no longer be required to display the actual registration number of their vehicles on the number plates.

They would thus be able to make a mark on ordinary folks displaying only the actual registration number of their vehicles.

Interestingly, this has been done in the name of “motor vehicle and transport reforms”, but in actual terms, it is aimed at generating extra revenue by the Excise and Taxation Department.

The bill, which is actually an amendment to the existing Provincial Motor Vehicles Ordinance, 1965, provides that an owner may submit an application to the registration authority for allocation of personalised vanity plates that are linked with a particular registration.

The specifications and other details of these distinctive number plates would be determined in the rules to be framed later.

Though the legislation has been made now, the use of such number plates was already in vogue. Inscription of titles like ‘Makhdoom 1’, ‘Awan 1’, ‘Malik 327’, ‘Chaudhry 4’ etc was a common scene on City roads in the recent past till the Lahore High Court banned this practice.

It was going on in connivance with the officials of Excise Department.

The Assembly also passed “Punjab Motor Vehicle Transaction Licensees Bill, 2015 to regulate the services of the motor vehicle transaction licensee acting on behalf of the owners of vehicles.

In the statement of objects and reasons, it has been said that the bill aimed at checking the practice of handing over unregistered vehicles to the purchasers by motor dealers. Under the new legislation, the services of motor agents would be regulated by fixation of their service charges and curtailment of their role only to the extent of documentation and submission of applications for registration on behalf of owners of vehicles.

The government thinks that the new law would provide improved service delivery to the purchasers.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Assembly deferred the Protection of Women against Violence Bill 2015 to make it more comprehensive by inviting suggestions from the lawmakers. It was on the agenda of Assembly business on Thursday but legislators across the political divide, especially the females, did not approve the bill in its present form.

Seeing the mood of the House, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah asked lawmakers to come up with recommendations in the next three days.

He assured them that their proposed amendments would be considered and accommodated into the bill.

Rana told the House that the matter was already in the notice of the Chief Minister who also wanted some improvements into the draft law.

Earlier, in response to a call attention notice, Home Minister Col (Retd) Shuja Khanzada told the House that those who planned the murder of PML-N MPA Rana Shamshad Ahmad Khan and his son had fled to Dubai alongwith their families.

But some accused have been arrested by the police, he said, adding, that government was making efforts to bring them back.

Thursday’s Assembly sitting also saw two Treasury members, Mian Tahir and Malik Ahmad Khan, criticising the government on various counts and spokesperson Syed Zaeem Qadri bucking them up through his gestures.

It was unusual in the sense that members on the Treasury benches usually don’t criticize their government on Assembly floor.

The House also adopted a resolution moved a PML-N lawmaker to establish an authority for development of a hill station at Mari Gorchani in Rajanpur district.