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Monday, March 17, 2008

Defying Technology

When the use of computers was initially introduced in different departments of the country, a general conception was that corruption would be minimized to a greater extent and also the records would be properly managed. But rarely would a nation defy the technology the way we do. The other day a friend of mine, who is an employee with PRAL (Pakistan Revenue Automated Limited) at a Motorway interchange, told me of how the FWO officials are depriving the country of the revenue and thus causing huge loss to the government exchequer. They do this in collaboration with the FWO and PRAL staff appointed at the interchanges, and sometimes the lower staff is even forced to cooperate.
All this is being done in a pretty technical way. Here is how they work. As you enter the Motorway you are given either a computerized card or a hand written slip (in case the computer is not operating). This card/slip contains the registration number of the vehicle and the station from which it entered the Motorway. On the exit point, the toll is charged with reference to the total distance traveled. Now, if the person on the Exit interchange is to earn some black money he would enter a wrong registration number of the vehicle (this has happened to me several times). Once a wrong registration number is entered, it becomes impossible to trace as to from where the particular vehicle actually entered. The employee charges you the correct amount but enters lesser amount in the data and gives you the slip where the word “Damage Card” is written. The same thing happens in case you are fined for over speeding. If the slip you are given contains lesser amount of fine mentioned than what was actually mentioned on your card/slip, you can be sure where the rest of the amount ended up. Another interesting thing is how you can exit the Motorway without paying the over-speeding fine. This, however, is not very common and is possible only if the person giving you the card on the entrance point is in league with you. The purpose is served by issuing two cards, in case you are fined for over-speeding you can exit on presenting the other card, ‘the magic card.’ At the end of the day, the total ‘recoveries’ are collected and the percentage is delivered among the team members. The higher the rank, the more the percentage. I’ve been told how a retired army officer (I wouldn’t mention the name) was able to buy a brand new Prado just within a two month time of his appointment at a particular interchange. Thanks to our worthy president who has employed so many of his comrades in different departments. The next time you travel through Motorway and get a “Damage Card” slip, you’d know which pocket the toll ended up.
Also contributed at The Pakistani Spectator

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

YOU ARE SO CLOSE TO CRAZZY 4... JUST CRITICISM IS NOT THE SOLUTION..... ALSO SEE THE +VE SIDE........ LOOK AT THE BENEFITS, YOU ARE GETTING OUT OF THEIR SYSTEM........ I AGREE THAT THERE ARE LAPSES IN THE SYSTEM..... BUT YOU CAN'T BLAME THE WHOLE SYSTEM....... IN EVERY FIELD THEIR ARE GHOST BUT........... HOWEVER YOU ALSO KNOW EXCEPTIONS ARE ALWAYS THERE.......
I WANT TO GIVE A SUGGESSTION...... PLZ TRY TO CHANGE THE SYSTEM AT LEAST TO THAT EXTENT WHICH YOU CAN...... IF EVERY ONE TRY TO CORRECT AT LEAST HIS END....... HE CAN PUT HIS PART....... AT LEAST



A WELL WISHER........ HOWEVER A GOOD ATTEMPT THAT YOU MADE SUCH AN INTENSIVE RESEARCH

Anonymous said...

I will agree with anonymous that criticsim is not the solution and one thing more which I want to say that you find one Army Officer and started blaming the Presidend, I can tell you more names of Civs whom I know personally on Motorway. This is not the case that any thing going wrong any where is done by the Presidend or by the Army. Have good time. Allah Hafiz. Tahir Raza.

Anonymous said...

Criticism m is not the soultion but criticism is the only thing to bring such things to the lime light. I would agree with what Talal has tried to point out in this articel. Good work!
Ali..

Anonymous said...

We are in the habbit of just pointing out and pointing out. I think we are the best crtique nation of the world. Tahir Raza.

Anonymous said...

I do agree that every thing has its positive and negative aspects, and always we should have to consider the positive aspects. But what about those negative one's. Just leave them and considering that everything would be fine. The only better way to improve is to point out the negative aspects and also find out its solution.
Critics always are necessary but the only thing should be noted it the betterment of any problem.
Talha Malik