ISLAMABAD: The Cabinet Committee on Legislative Cases (CCLC) on Friday approved the country’s first-ever safety standards for the auto sector including helmets for motorcycle riders.
With the approval by CCLC the auto sector safety standards including electric vehicles (EVs) would be forwarded to the Federal Cabinet for ratification, eventually leading to their implementation.
The auto companies claim to follow Japanese standards, but there is no standard and clear definition of helmets for motorcycle riders.
The auto sector, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Industries, has been advocating that the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) is needed to first develop labs and expertise to check the quality of parts.
PSQCA initially develops standards for eight components
However, an official of the PSQCA told Dawn that the safety standards developed by the authority are very close to the Japanese standards.
“Pakistan needs to move forward and the move will eventually compel authorities to develop relevant labs in PSQCA,” the official said.
The CCLC has approved the standards for eight components of locally manufactured vehicles developed by PSQCA in consultation with other stakeholders and government departments.
These include Child Restraint System (PS:5574 and PS:5575), Safety Belts (PS:5578 and PS:5579), Air Bags (PS:5576), Electric PowerTrain for EVs (PS:5550 and PS:5551) and Helmet for Riders (PS:1402).
The PSQCA is currently authorised to inspect and certify 166 food and non-food items.
Three different ministries were at odds over the safety standards for the auto sector including the Engineering Development Board (EDB), an arm of the Ministry of Industries, the Ministry of Climate Change over the subject of carbon emissions and the Ministry of Science and Technology as the quality standards are implemented by its subordinate department the PSQCA.
The manufacturing sector is the domain of the Ministry of Industries and EDB was under pressure from the auto industry over granting the responsibility to certify the quality of parts manufactured locally.
Due to differences of opinion, the PSQCA was facing hurdles in developing national standards for auto vehicles being manufactured/ assembled locally.
Published in Dawn, january 7th, 2023