Senate body grills three automakers

Published December 28, 2018
The Senate Standing Committee on Industries and Production has sought details of the quality standards adopted by Japanese carmakers in relation to regional practices, price range and the percentage of localisation.—File Photo
The Senate Standing Committee on Industries and Production has sought details of the quality standards adopted by Japanese carmakers in relation to regional practices, price range and the percentage of localisation.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Expressing its dissatisfaction at the exorbitant prices and low quality of locally manufactured vehicles, the Senate Standing Committee on Industries and Production on Thursday grilled Japanese automakers.

The committee, chaired by Senator Ahmed Khan, also expressed its dissatisfaction over the briefing given by the Engineering Development Board officials on the Pakistan Auto Policy 2016-21. It noted that the results of the auto policy did not match the ground realities. It further directed the three auto-manufactures – Toyota, Honda, and Suzuki – to brief the committee on the quality of their vehicles and prices in 10 days.

The meeting was informed by Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Industries, and Textile Abdul Razak Dawood that the said auto policy was prepared by the previous government and it would not be changed.

The committee was given a detailed briefing related to total number of vehicles sold, amount of tax paid, detail of spare parts produced locally and imported from abroad and fulfilment of corporate social responsibility role by the three carmakers.

However, the briefing could not satisfy committee members who found it to be incomplete and far removed from reality.

It was decided that the three automobile companies would furnish detailed briefings in the next meeting after ten days. The briefings would focus on the quality standards adopted by the companies in relation to regional practices, the price ranges with plausible reasons, the percentage of parts manufactured locally and those imported from other countries as well as the export potential of cars and the tax paid by the companies measured against their income and profits.

Senators observed that the ministry and automobile makers should make use of the new technologies that are being used worldwide.

Senator Kusloom Parveen also suggested that the automobile industry has to become environment-friendly too.

“There is serious concern over the adverse impact of climatic change in our region. We all must contribute towards reducing pollution, and the auto sector has an important role to play in this regard,” she added.

On the occasion, Mr Dawood acknowledged that he was not able to satisfy the committee members and suggested that the auto companies should be called before the committee.

Published in Dawn, December 28th, 2018

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