The Punjab Excise Department has initiated a comprehensive overhaul of the process for issuing computerized number plates for vehicles. The decision to revamp the system comes after years of complaints from the public and operational challenges faced by authorities. Despite collecting fees from approximately three million vehicle owners in the province over the past three years, delays in issuing number plates have been a persistent issue. Recognizing the need for reform, the provincial cabinet has approved the abolition of the government's monopoly on number plate manufacturing. Instead, a new open licensing regime has been introduced, allowing multiple companies and institutions to participate in the production and distribution process. Under the revamped system, applicants will no longer be required to pay fees for new computerized number plates, marking a departure from previous practices. This move aims to streamline the registration process and alleviate financial burdens on vehicle and motorcycle o wners. Excise Director General Faisal Fareed has spearheaded the implementation of the cabinet's decision, with a notification issued to Excise Secretary Masood Mukhtar directing the immediate cessation of fee collection for number plates with new or duplicate registration requests. The transition to an open licensing regime is expected to encourage healthy competition among private companies registered under the framework. It is estimated that vehicle owners could save up to Rs500 on number plates compared to current government prices. However, the department faces challenges in addressing the backlog of pending number plates for millions of citizens, stemming from past inefficiencies. Previous attempts to modernize the vehicle registration system, including partnerships with federal agencies, have encountered obstacles and disputes over fee structures. Source: ProPakistani