The committee, which was formed on the instructions of the provincial government, made the revelation after visiting NRTC’s computerized number plate manufacturing facility in the Hazara district, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
he Punjab excise department currently faces a backlog of two million number plates along with an additional demand. According to sources, NRTC’s Haripur facility has a daily production capacity of 45,000 number plates, while another facility featuring German machinery is to be set up in Kot Lakhpat, Lahore, which should be able to produce more than 40,000 number plates every day.
However, due to the excise department and related courier companies’ limited handling capacity, despite having a sufficient production output; it is likely that only 10,000 plates will be produced per day to cater to the demand backlog, while the current demand will be met in full.
As per details, a special committee headed by Excise Director-General Narcotics Chaudhry Masoodul Haq visited NRTC’s number plate manufacturing unit in Haripur, a few months after visiting the NRTC production facility. “At the time, there were only three machines installed at the facility, but now there are 15 machines which can produce more than 45,000 plates per day,” a source disclosed.
The source further informed this reporter that the National Radio Telecommunications Corporation has initiated projects to build its new unit in Kot Lakhpat.
The auto manufacturing machine for the unit, procured from Germany, is expected to arrive in Lahore next month, while the unit will be ready for production in January 2020 after installation and testing.
The Punjab Minister for Excise Mumtaz Ahmed, expressed that the issue of computerized number plates has long been a challenge for the department. “Initial matters have been settled with an agency under the federal government and now we are forwarding a request with the PPRA for formal approval,” he added.
According to Ahmed, almost two million car owners have not been able to obtain computerized plates while this backlog seems to be growing by the day.
“Our special team has declared that the production capacity of federal government’s institution is sufficient to cater to provincial needs and if the government gives the go-ahead, the excise department will ascertain as to how many of the new products will be meant for backlog demand as we plan to ensure that the current demand is met in full”
While the department has the required machinery to produce up to 50 thousand number plates daily to meet the swelling backlog demand.
“This is why we are considering to start with production and distribution of 15,000 number plates daily and we’ll hopefully be able to meet the backlog in a few months by gradually increasing our production output.”