PML government has seriously decided to form a new Auto Industry Policy for which Ministry of Industries & Production is ordered to do its spade work. In this regard various Associations of the Industry like; PAMA, PAAPAM, APMA, PASPIDA, APMDA and APADA are called to submit their views/ suggestions with the ministry. In the past decade Ministry of Industries & Production with the help of EDB had formulated Auto Industry Development Program (AIDP) in thorough consultation with their blue eyed major stakeholders to provide a consistent and predictable policy regime to the industry for achieving the objectives of technology enhancement, indigenization and growth of the sector. “The agreed roadmap, however, could not deliver the desired objectives due to inconsistency in the effective implementation of its major policy components. Even the agreed tariff roadmap could not be implemented at the behest of the industry and thus a status quo was maintained to give more time to the industry to achieve the broader objective of indigenization.” It is confessed by EDB in its recent report. The ‘Engineering Development Board’ as evident from its name was responsible to develop certain new valuable items indigenously and enlarge its canvas to save precious foreign exchange being wasted on imports. But instead of fulfilling this responsibility the EDB authorities opened a floodgate of corruption and nepotism joining hand with unscrupulous elements of FBR, Excise & Taxation, PSQCA and the Customs. There was a grand clearance sale of issuing SROs, Manufacturing Certificates, list of importable items, FBR-PRAL system, online WeBOC Module and the IORCs. Therefore, during last decade billions of rupees were plundered through mis-declaration, under-invoicing, smuggling, obtaining favorable custom valuation advices and misuse of Afghan Transit Trade. There was a huge loss of precious foreign exchange on undue imports, while no attention was paid to facilitate export of indigenous items to improve the weaken economy. Hence the rupee-dollar parity crossed from 60 to 108 of today. In view of the past experiences it is mandatory that government should investigate the achievements made by EDB and examine its future role in localization of auto parts and the claims often made by all vehicle assemblers, especially by the car assemblers. We hope that the New Auto Policy would not only bring revolutionary changes for promotion of indigenization of all sectors but also focus on export of local auto parts and the vehicles within shortest possible time.
-Published on page#8, November-2013 edition of MOBILE WORLD Magazine