LAHORE: The Punjab government has lodged 2,970 FIRs, sealed 797 industrial units, imposed fines worth Rs4.48 million on those involved in stubble burning besides imposing over Rs10 million to the owners of brick kilns to control smog in the city since 1st October till 18th December, said Senior Member Board of Revenue (SMBR) Babar Hayat Tarar.

Addressing a press conference at the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) office on Tuesday, he said both the traffic police and the transport departments imposed fines worth over Rs 30 million against the vehicles involved in carbon emission. Similarly, the industrial units involved in spreading pollution were also fined worth Rs1.55 million during this period, he added.

According to him, the provincial government had also decided to close down educational institutions on every Monday, besides ensuring the availability of Euro-5 petrol at the petrol stations to strengthen the drive.

Similarly, Tarar said, the entry of all the passenger service vehicles (PSVs) with manual fitness certificates has been banned in the city through latest decision and only those with digitized fitness certificates would be allowed to roam around. He said continuous wind in the city has also proved helpful and there is a considerable reduction in sulpher and gasoline content. The government would also focus on electric public service vehicles and auto rikshaws in the public transport sector ahead.

Regarding the reforms drive in the Board of Revenue, he said transparency and good governance is the hallmark of it. "The Punjab government has set up 1200 digitized rural revenue centres so far, followed by another 4000 by 31st December and 3000 by the end-January that would take the total number to 8000". In addition, he said, the introduction of revenue court management system has reduced the number of revenue cases to 66,000 from earlier 109,000.

Tarar said digitization of the periodical record (Girwadri) has revolutionalized the revenue system in the province as it would discourage corruption and encourage merit and transparency besides improving revenue taxation. He said filing of appeals and reviews of appeals would start soon at the concerned commissioner offices forthwith. Shifting of lower value stamp papers to e-stamping would start from 3rd of January.

The SMBR said the Board was taking action against the illegal occupants in the province on the direction of the prime minister and chief minister Punjab and 4177 acres urban lands worth Rs66 billion and 184,347 rural land worth Rs407.51 billion has been retrieved so far. He said the Board would get vacated state lands across the province by December 31.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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