Once in good condition, AIOU’s 18 jeeps being sold as scrap

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Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—Vehicles worth millions of rupees are rusting away in the backyard of VC Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) office owing to the institutional negligence This apathy to assets of the varsity has led to the destruction university’s vehicles worth millions of rupees. One example of this indifference by the AIOU administration towards its assets is that 18 Land Rover jeeps are being put on auction as scrape. According to reports, AIOU received 18 Land Rover jeeps from a British NGO, the Overseas Development Organisation in early 1980s as a donation. The vehicles were imported without Customs duty as they were donation by the British NGO.
The jeeps were used by several departments of the university for more the 15 years and after that they were parked in the university and considered ‘off load vehicles’, which means that these cars are of no more use.
The said vehicles are currently parked in the backyard of the vice chancellor’s office but their dilapidated condition is itself a question mark on the performance of varsity’s administration as the vehicles, which were parked in running condition, are now converted into a scrape.
A driver of the university said, the vehicles are considered ‘off load’ because of minor technical problems but the continuous negligence of the officers and lack of interest shown by the university administration has converted these vehicles into scrape. “University could get better price in case of the auction of these vehicles on time but now the jeeps are not in condition to auction properly and they would go on scrape rate only,” he said.
An official of the university said, “We could not auction the said vehicles because we received these jeeps as donation whereas the customs department also waved the import duty on these vehicles at the time of their deliverance”. He said, “We asked for permission for auction from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) but they also refused to allow auction and directed us to handover these jeeps to Customs Department”.
However, he said the matter is pending since long even before the appointment of the current VC. However he has directed the concerned department to dispose of these vehicles as per the law and it will be done in next few months.
The executive council of the university has allowed to handover the said vehicles to custom department and we have formally written a letter to the custom officials to bring back the jeeps but no reply has been received so far, said another official. Meanwhile, Customs Department has refused to bring the vehicles into their custody and asked the university to shift them in their warehouse but the university’s transport department has no funds to move the vehicles. The officials however admitted the jeep were high-prized vehicles and could bring millions of rupees to the university’s exchequer if they were put on auction in functional form instead of scrap.

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