Govt import policies to put 0.7mn jobs at risk in the auto industry

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KARACHI: Government’s policy of putting restrictions and eventually halting import of used cars will leave 0.6 to 0.7 million Pakistanis without employment, says All-Pakistan Motors Dealers Association (APDMA) Chairman HM Shahzad.

“We thank the government for letting us clear our vehicles from the port. But this is only a temporary solution to the crisis at large. The government should take all stakeholders on board including APDMA to solve this issue,” Shahzad told Pakistan Today.

He added that the government’s restriction on import of used cars will leave around 0.6 to 0.7 million people without jobs.

“According to our assessment, government’s policies would reduce imported used car business to a mere 5 per cent, as compared to previous business recorded by the industry. It would not only be dangerous for people involved in the business but also for the exchequer, which receives Rs 80 billion in duties,” he said.

He further said that the government seemed to be colluding with local manufacturers, who have been exploiting consumers for a long time, providing them with low-quality cars at exorbitant prices and long delivery periods.

Halting imports will result in increased delivery times of local manufacturers since the demand for local cars would increase. Currently, the average delivery time of local manufacturers is around 6 months. It means an average person, who wants to buy a car, has to wait for six months to own a car or pay ‘own money’ above company rates to expedite delivery. The ‘own-money’ has said to be earned by investors, who book cars in order to sell at higher rates on delivery.

While terming own-money as ‘black money’, APDMA chief said that the delivery system of local manufacturers provides an opportunity for investors to earn ‘black money’ whether the officials of the company are involved in it or not, at the expense of the buyers.

“After the obstruction of imported cars, customers will have no alternative but to wait in long queues to receive their cars or be overcharged for early delivery,” Shahzad concluded.

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