ISLAMABAD: The new government, while repealing the earlier decision of the cabinet, has restored the Engineering Development Board (EDB) on Thursday. It seems that the government has bowed down to the demands of the auto sector which wanted EDB restored.
Addressing a press conference after the decision of the federal cabinet here on Thursday, Prime Minister’s Advisor on Commerce, Textile, Industries and Production and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood said the board has finally been restored. A notification in this regard has been issued.
According to him, the decision of restoring the board was made to resolve issues in the auto sector. The performance of EDB will be improved after the reconstitution of the board. The Board would be given the task of introducing new technology in the auto sector.
The federal cabinet has approved the summary forwarded by the Ministry of Industries and Production in recommending that the EDB which deals with the country’s engineering industry should be revived by undoing the decision of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi-led cabinet.
Prime Minister’s Advisor on Institutional Reforms and Austerity, Dr Ishrat Hussain had also reportedly favoured the revival of the board.
The summary sent by the ministry of industries was forwarded to Dr Ishrat by Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is also the minister in charge of industries for approval prior to seeking the federal cabinet’s approval.
Along with the summary, the PM was also informed that the Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM) and EDB employees have already approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the decision of the federal cabinet.
The cabinet of the previous government, following the recommendations of the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE), had decided to dissolve the EDB over rampant corruption. The federal cabinet on July 13, 2017 endorsed the decision of the CCoE.
In a petition (Petition 1966 of 2018) filed by PAAPAM, the court was appealed to stop the implementation on the dissolution of EDB. Subsequently, the court had issued notices to the government through the secretary cabinet division and three others on Monday. A similar petition was also filed in the court by employees of EDB seeking reversal of the cabinet’s decision. The court had also issued a similar notice to the government.
Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) through a letter had also requested the government to review the decision of dissolving the body or announce a successor to take over the existing day to day affairs.
According to PAMA, as the demand for local automobiles is growing, there has been significant interest from several new players to enter the sector. The favourable response to the government’s new entrant policy has also attracted big names from both the East and the West. Some have already started constructing factories whilst others are in the process of selecting dealerships. The existing players are also ramping up their capacities with most sectors cars, tractors, truck/bus and two/three wheelers in different stages of expansion.
EDB is the apex government body working under the Ministry of Industries and Production entrusted to strengthen the engineering base in Pakistan.