Govt wants quick NEVP implementation despite resistance from auto industry

Published December 26, 2019
"We have not been taken into confidence on NEVP," says Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association director general. — Reuters/File
"We have not been taken into confidence on NEVP," says Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association director general. — Reuters/File

KARACHI: Despite auto assemblers’ reservations regarding the National Electric Vehicle Policy (NEVP), the government has aimed at making it operational by January 2020.

The federal cabinet approved NEVP on Nov 5 and the Ministry for Climate Change (MoCC) has summoned an inter-ministerial meeting on Thursday in Islamabad to discuss the same.

The MoCC has informed relevant ministries and government departments that the “NEVP needs to be operational by January 2020 by validation of incentive packages through the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC).”

Prime Minister Imran Khan has already announced early implementation of NEVP, especially for two- and three-wheelers as well as buses for public transport in order to prevent smog.

The ministry said the subject policy under section 8 envisages the constitution of an inter-ministerial committee which would include members from the federal line ministries, provinces, private sector and the academia.

This committee would be responsible for overseeing all issues related to the entire electric vehicle value chain in order to smoothly introduce and coordinate efforts towards local manufacturing.

It will also be responsible for overseeing standardisation, regulation and compliance towards infrastructure. Periodic amendments in the policy based on changing technology and marketplace will also be its responsibility.

“We have not been invited in the inter-ministerial meeting on Thursday,” Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (Pama) Director General Abdul Waheed Khan told Dawn on Wednesday, adding that “we have also not been taken into confidence on NEVP.”

He said on Nov 4, the news was swirling in the market that NEVP policy was on agenda of federal cabinet meeting the next day.

Before this, the climate ministry had circulated draft policy of electric vehicle while requisite input from the stakeholders on it was still to be obtained.

On the instance of MoCC, the Engineering Development Board (EDB) conveyed a meeting on May 23 with the auto sector people on the formulation of electric vehicle policy.

Here, the stakeholders had unanimously voiced that the concerned ministry was alien to the subject and it was the domain of Ministry of Industries and Production (MoIP).

Ever since, Waheed said, Pama had been interacting with the MoIP and the EDB and further held a consultative meeting with its own officials on Nov 1 in Karachi to discuss proposal on NEVP formulation for auto industry.

He said it was surprising for Pama that electric vehicle policy was on agenda of Nov 5 federal cabinet meeting when stakeholders were in the process of discussing it with EDB and the policy on same subject was being presented by the other arm of the government for approval.

The government has taken a crucial decision on electric vehicle policy while the entire auto industry is groping in the dark as it had neither discussed nor heard an official word in this regard, he said.

He informed the Commerce and Production Adviser Abdul Razzak Dawood that it is unusual that the EDB under the aegis of MoIP had initiated discussion with the stakeholders on electric vehicle policy while the other ministry had already espoused the summary, on the same subject, and submitted it to the cabinet for approval.

Khan urged Dawood to enlighten the auto industry about present position of NEVP.

Published in Dawn, December 26th, 2019

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