Devise policies to promote auto sector, says Senate body

Updated March 20, 2019

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Senator criticises policy makers and stresses that they must devise strategies according to ground realities. ─ File photo
Senator criticises policy makers and stresses that they must devise strategies according to ground realities. ─ File photo

KARACHI: The government should devise policies for growth of the auto sector including formulation of standards for car parts, Senate Standing Committee on Industries said on Tuesday.

During a visit to Toyota Motors plant, the committee observed that government functionaries need to facilitate the private sector while ensuring strict implementation of standards.

Committee Chairman Senator Ahmed Khan criticised policy makers and stressed that they must devise strategies according to ground realities.

“If we hurt the local industry, imports will fill the vacuum. However, this will hurt the economy and job market of the country,” he said while acknowledging that the auto sector must undertake certain initiatives.

Indus Motors CEO Ali Jamali said that 12 changes have been made in the auto policy in past two years.

“Only 20 per cent of spare parts sold in the market belong to the company’s authorised manufacturers while the rest enter the country via Grey channel,” he said, adding that there are no standards for auto sector in Pakistan.

Engineering Development Board (EDB) Azim Ayaz acknowledged that there are no testing facilities or vehicle fitness standards in the country.

Senators Norman Wazir, Krishna Kumari and Seemi Azid inquired about the issue of premium or ‘Own’ charged by dealers. Responding to the query, Mr Jamali said the issue of premium can only be controlled with policies.

“We have presented two requests but the authorities do not seem serious. This ‘Own’ system is found nowhere in the world,” he said.

“The model we need to follow should begin from manufacturer, move to wholesalers and finally end at retailers. However, in Pakistan the retailers make payments to manufacturers and dealers only facilitate the buyers unlike the global model where dealers invest in buying cars and maintain an inventor. They do not hold cars to get premium,” he explained.

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2019