ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin Thursday stated that the proposed auto policy aims at expansion of auto industry in Pakistan by increasing the production of cars, motorcycles, and tractors, etc.
The finance minister presided over a meeting to review a draft Auto Industry Development and Export Policy (AIDEP) 2021-26. The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Industries and Production Khusro Bakhtyar, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, SAPM on Finance and Revenue Dr Waqar Masood, secretary Finance Division, secretary Commerce, secretary Ministry of Industries and Production, chairman FBR, and other senior officers participated in the meeting.
The finance minister emphasised broad-based consultations with key stakeholders to come up with an all-encompassing and futuristic AIDEP 2021-26.
The secretary Ministry of industries and Production briefed the participants about the salient features of the draft AIDEP 2021-26.
The vision of the AIDEP should be to make Pakistan a hub for competitive manufacturing of auto parts and vehicles for local markets as well as for exports.
The meeting was further told that the key focus is to strengthen the competition within locally-manufactured vehicles in order to provide high quality vehicles at affordable prices to the consumers in the country.
It also includes increase in export of automobile parts and vehicles to earn a valuable foreign exchange.
The top-most priority is to ensure consumer welfare through availability of cars at affordable rates for the middle and lower income groups.
With this end in view, the government has provided major relief to the consumers by reducing sales tax on 850cc cars along with exemption from value-added tax in the federal budget 2021-22.
The Ministry of Industries and Production confirmed that prices of vehicles have been reduced commensurate with reduction in taxes and the industry has widely advertised for the information of the general public.
The policy would encourage exports of vehicles and automobile parts.
The finance minister also underscored the importance of Electric Vehicles (EVs) and affirmed to provide incentives for developing Electric Vehicle market in Pakistan including EV charging infrastructure.
The promotion of EVs will reduce dependence on oil import bill and promote environment-friendly options.
The finance minister also stressed to come up with innovative products for provision of car financing at reduced mark-up to consumers, so that everyone can afford a car at flexible terms and conditions.
The Minister for Industries and Production said that new entrants may be encouraged in the auto sector particularly for EVs. This, in turn, would encourage auto companies to invest in related infrastructure in Pakistan.
The Advisor to Commerce stated that the existing tariff structure needs to be rationalised (in a phased manner) to promote auto industry in Pakistan, keeping in view, the objective of localisation i.e. to encourage local auto industry to come up with high quality vehicles within affordable range.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021