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Saturday 23rd October 2021 / 17 Rabiulawal 1443

Islamabad admin received Rs7.862mn ‘unauthorized’ collection for arms licenses

The Office of the Deputy Commissioner ICT Islamabad collected miscellaneous charges. Source: FILE.

The Office of the Deputy Commissioner ICT Islamabad collected miscellaneous charges. Source: FILE.

ISLAMABAD: The district administration of the federal capital collected Rs 7.862 million unauthorized charges for the issuance arms licenses, domiciles and international driving licenses from citizens.

According to a report released by the Auditor General of Pakistan, the Office of the Deputy Commissioner ICT Islamabad collected miscellaneous charges amounting to Rs 7,862,126 from the applicants of arms licenses, international driving permits and domicile fees during the financial year 2019-20.

The report said the DC Office Islamabad issued 2,069 arms licenses (non-prohibited bore) during the financial year 2019-20 without reaching an agreement with NADRA for the maintenance of a data bank.

It further observed that the charges were collected in cash without any approval and unverifiable expenditure of Rs 6.230 million were incurred.

The audit report has declared the cash collection charges and Rs 7.862 million and unverifiable expenditure of Rs 6.230 million as “unauthorized.”

The auditor said it sought a reply from the concerned department which replied that the charges were stopped with effect from August 1, 20201, after audit observation. It said the linking of arms licenses with NADRA is currently underway.

“This reply is not acceptable as the department was not authorized to collect miscellaneous charges and collected amount was an extra burden on citizens,” the report said.

The audit report recommended to conduct a fact-finding inquiry into the matter and take immediate measures of the databank of the holders of arms licenses.

As per Arms Policy 2012 (Para 19), NADRA was tasked to maintain data bank of licenses, weapons, and issuance of weapons authorization form/ demand note and subsequently computerized arms licenses (CALs) to applicants.

According to Rule 25 of General Financial Rules (Vol-1), “all departmental regulations in so far as they embody orders of instructions of a financial character or having important financial bearing should be made by, or with the approval of, the Ministry of Finance.”

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