Govt to formulate standards for auto industry under CCP guidelines

  • CCP had suggested govt to create an independent and empowered national vehicle standard and safety authority

ISLAMABAD: In order to streamline the auto sector through a proper legislation, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) for the first time has come forward to formulate the safety and environment standards for the auto sector as per the guidelines of the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP), which has recently issued its opinion on the competition concerns in the sector.

CCP, through its findings in the auto sector, had suggested the MoST to deal with issues related to the safety of vehicles being manufactured/assembled in the country.

The CCP secretary, through a letter sent on October 3, had asked the ministry to set up an authority to formulate and maintain the safety standards of vehicles. In its findings, the CCP suggested that a national automotive sector standard and safety authority may be created to deal with the safety issues.

“The current regulatory framework regarding the auto industry is fragmented and distributed across several departments of the federal and provincial governments. This makes regulation and consumer protection ineffective. To ensure introduction of quality, safety and environmental standards, and to take care of consumer issues in the automobile, the federal and provincial governments should work together to create an independent and empowered national vehicle standards and safety authority,” it said. “The authority should have ample powers to introduce and enforce various standards relating to production, quality, safety, fuel efficiency, and emissions of both locally produced and imported cars and deal with all consumer issues and complaints related to vehicle quality, manufacturer warranties, and after-sale services.”

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Following the findings of CCP, which was based on a public hearing held on April 11, 2018, the ministry, though a letter dated October 11, asked the Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) to take the lead and formulate standards with regard to safety and environment perspective of vehicles.

Through the letter, the ministry also asked its attached department to initiate a case for inclusion of the vehicles in the compulsory certification mark scheme.

Given the nature of the industry and its problems, there is a dire need to bring about legal and regulatory changes to establish a separate, independent and empowered vehicle standards and safety authority at the national level to deal with technical and consumer aspects in the automobile sector.

 

 

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Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]
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