KARACHI: The auto policymakers are inclined to adopt foreign standards for the local industry instead of evolving the country’s own.

“There are no standards evolved for the automobiles produced in Pakistan nor there are any labs to check the standards of safety, etc. Even there is no facility to gauge emission standards, adopted in 2012,” Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) Director General Abdul Waheed Khan told Dawn on Wednesday.

These labs must be fully equipped and internationally accredited but unfortunately our government takes no action in this regard, he said.

“We need specific standards of our own and also have to concurrently develop labs to check them. It will be futile to have only standards without checking the mechanism.”

He said that used cars are arriving in big numbers but no one knows about their quality.

The new auto policy proposes to participate in WP 29’s International Whole Vehicle Type Approval (IWVTA) scheme and adopt all global technical regulations.

“At present, different countries adopt different regulations to ensure safety and environmental protection and any vehicle, whether domestically made or imported, must conform to them,” the policy adds.

With an attempt to smoothen international trade procedures, WP 29 has been working towards mutual recognition of vehicle certification under IWVTA scheme through harmonisation of regulations of the member countries in order to alleviate cumbersome testing process of the imported vehicle.

Every country has different standards, a bike assembler said.

He said that India has made its own standards for tyre manufacturing, resulting in huge foreign investments by key manufacturers from around the globe.

“If it had adopted European or Japanese standards, the companies in respective areas could have exported their products without establishing manufacturing plants in India,” the assembler said.

“Now India does not import tyres, until their experts visit the countries and approve the standards, and this way they have established a new industry.”

The assembler said that India has made its own standards, so only those vehicles would be sold in the country that are of those standards.

Pakistan, on the other hand, is hankering after the standards of other countries without giving any thought of the local industry.

“Why the EU standards have not been adopted by India or China,” the assembler asked.

A car assembler said the policymakers are surprisingly asking for production standards from the local car manufacturers to impose marking fees, as the motorcycle sector is already paying. And due to high prices of cars, they would get heavy marking fees.

“The government is not giving incentives but asking to maintain world class standards,” he said.

Published in Dawn, October 29th, 2015

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