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Motorbike industry: ECC okays gradual reduction in tariff

October 03, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Oct 2: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) decided on Tuesday to rationalise the tariff structure for the two-wheeler industry, and approved to gradually reduce tariff regime in a way that local industry would not suffer and attract foreign investment at the same time.

The rationalised tariff structure will be determined during the ECC meeting scheduled to take place next week. However, Board of Investment Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla expressed hope that the new structure would be implemented in one week’s time.

ECC also decided that new entrant’s policy will be discussed in forthcoming ECC meeting next week.

After a detailed summary on the “Protection of Motorcycle Industry” presented by Commerce Secretary Munir Qureshi, the ECC decided to constitute a committee for finalising a new tariff structure.

The committee comprised Chairman Board of Investment, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, and secretaries of commerce and industries. ECC held lengthy discussions and devoted full session on the motorcycle industry.

Qureshi in his summary focused on different aspects including production capacity, category-wise growth rate, types and details of motorcycle manufacturer, current tariff structure and barriers for new entrant in motorcycle industry of Pakistan.

Mandviwalla while talking to newsmen stated that the rationalised tariff structure will provide equal opportunities to existing motorcycle plants and new entrants.

About the motorcycle industry, he said: “There are only nine two-wheeler manufacturers in the organised sector while 68 remain unregulated. With the introduction of rationalised tariff structure, all unregulated units would come under the organised sector.”

The Japanese motorcycle company, Yamaha, which is looking for space to enter into the motorcycle industry in Pakistan, will now be able to make the ground with the government’s decision on tariff rationalisation.

The Japanese company will invest $150 million and has already bought land in Bin Qasim Town in Karachi.

Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh who chaired the ECC meeting, stated that the process of tariff rationalisation must ‘ensure protection of local motorcycle industry’ and that a level playing field should be provided to all stakeholders.