Minister wants FBR to cut tax on import of electric vehicles

Published July 24, 2021
Vehicles being charged at the EV charging stations. — White Star
Vehicles being charged at the EV charging stations. — White Star

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has said that the Federal Board of Revenue should reduce sales tax on the import of Electric Vehicles (EVs) to 5 per cent to encourage the upcoming technology based on the cleanest fuel in Pakistan.

Mr Chaudhry had been one of the key supporters of EVs in the country when he was the minister of science and technology.

Talking to Dawn, the information minister said Pakistan was one of the countries taking lead in the introduction and implementation of the new and futuristic technologies and the presence of a large number of EVs in the country was a proof of it.

“It is unfortunate that the existing auto sector has been opposing the EV Policy, but as the technology is growing, high performance batteries are likely to be introduced by December this year with the capacity to travel up to 1,200 kilometres in a single charging,” he said.

Fawad Chaudhry says futuristic technologies being introduced in the country

He said that this would not only add to the diversity in auto sector, but also reduce reliance on imported petrol and significantly reduce environmental pollution.

The minister also lauded the private sector’s initiative to meet the requirement of providing fuel to the EVs plying between Lahore and Islamabad.

After the oil marketing companies the private sector has started to establish the EV charging points across the country. However, there is no dedicated regulator for the charging points and confusion exists among various ministries in this regard.

As the numbers of electric vehicles is increasing in the country, the two largest oil marketing companies (OMCs) in Pakistan – the state-owned Pakistan State Oil and Shell Pakistan – have already established charging points for the EVs.

PSO has installed Fast Electric Vehicle charger in Islamabad and is planning to install three more such chargers at key locations this year.

The private investors too have entered the emerging sector by establishing three charging stations between Islamabad and Lahore.

The Tesla Industries, Pakistan, has recently installed two EV charging stations at Lahore-Islamabad Motorway, one at Bhera and the other at Pindi Bhattian.

The EV chargers have been installed at old CNG stations just on the periphery of M-2 Motorway.

Drivers of the EVs can take the exit at Bhera interchange either coming from or going to Islamabad and move to the CNG station to recharge the vehicle and then re-enter the motorway. Similarly, the commuters can get their vehicles charged at Pindi Bhattian.

The company claims that the EV charging stations have been indigenously designed, manufactured and installed by Tesla Industries, Pakistan. The company has installed another such charging station near Gujrat at GT Road.

The Tesla Industries plans to install more chargers on GT Road and alongside the motorway as the demand soars. Both the stations are equipped with one 120kwh charger, which takes about 40 minutes to fully charge a 70kwh battery and one 60kwh charger.

The federal cabinet had approved a comprehensive EV policy for four wheelers on Dec 22, 2020, offering a series of incentives to the EV importers, manufacturers and end users.

A senior official of the Ministry of Industries said that its allied department, the Engineering Development Board, was responsible for issuing the NOCs to import duty-free charging equipments. Besides, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority is authorised to enact EV tariffs and ensure compliance with related standards and specifications.

Published in Dawn, July 24th, 2021

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