KARACHI: The localization of the auto industry will face a setback after the shutdown of Engineering Development Board (EDB), which is hugely contingent on imported parts.
Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (Paapam) Senior Vice Chairman Mohammad Ashraf Sheikh said EDB had played a crucial part in promoting the use of local auto parts in the industry, reported Express Tribune.
He said due to the EDB’s existence, the auto vendor industry had been able to grow and over 300 parts and manufacturers were assisting the sector in reaching greater localization, 75 percent in cars, 96 percent in tractors and motorcycles, 80 percent in three-wheelers.
Mr Sheikh credited the EDB for the aggressive localization in the country’s automotive industry and import substitution was enabling the country to save $3 billion on a yearly basis.
He lamented the government had been unable to protect the AIDP 2016-2021 policy and was not being adhered to.
He added its protector had been disbanded and the industry had lost a one-window facility.
Paapam senior vice chairman added its member’s complaints were not being reduced and would impact the current growth of localization in Pakistan.
He highlighted EDB with its immense experience was contributing in protecting the sector during negotiations for free-trade agreements (FTAs) with various countries.
But officials said new companies entering the country’s automobile sector had complained the EDB was impeding their entrance into the market.
Such technology oriented institutions like EDB are developed over gradual process of planning and development oveater a long period of time. So need not be disbanded just on the wishes of certain frustrd officials. The viability and efficacy of such institutions may not be visible but these play a crucial role in the development of certain sector of economy. Moreover, their burden on state exchequer is too small as compared what they contribute in the growth of certain sector of the economy, say automobile in this instance in particular and general engineering industry in general.
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