ISLAMABAD: Keeping in view the customers’ concerns regarding the rising prices of locally-assembled and manufactured vehicles, the government and auto sector may review the prices of vehicles in December before negotiating a new auto policy.
Talking to a group of journalists in Islamabad, Indus Motor Company (IMC) Chief Executive Officer Ali Asghar Jamali said since the major impact on prices of vehicles was from taxes imposed by the government, any relief in taxes would ultimately result in a reduction of prices.
“We have submitted our proposals to the government for tax rationalization in the auto sector. Removal of federal excise and additional custom duties can help the industry reduce prices,” he said.
According to Jamali, the concerned ministries have agreed to review the taxes in December, when the government and auto industry would be renegotiating the Auto Policy 2016-21, which expires on June 30, 2021.
Replying to a query, Jamali said, “We have submitted various proposals to control black marketing or premium money on sales of new vehicles. However, since sales tax is subject to the provincial government’s approval, the consensus between the Centre and provinces has been an issue.”
Sharing the impacts of market slowdown and closure of industry following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, he said the entire auto sector had plunged into a deep crisis during the nationwide lockdown.
He added that all auto manufacturers incurred huge losses while not a single vehicle was produced by the three main original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in April.
“However, not a single employee was laid off and we even provided interest-free loans to our vendors; we stayed committed to our core value of promoting local engineering base in Pakistan,” he stated.
The IMC chief said that the momentum started picking up in July and due to overwhelming demand, the company went for double-shift production, which would help meet demand and reduce delivery lead time.
“IMC has been striving to meet the expectations of its customers and one of them is the offering earliest delivery to them. We are happy that double-shift production will fulfil our commitment to them,” he added.
It is to be noted that Toyota’s production was well in place at the start of this calendar year as total production was over 4,000 units in the month of January with a month-on-month (MoM) increase of around 90pc. However, owing to the lockdown, production came to a virtual halt until May 19; the situation got better in September with the production of over 4,300 units.
The IMC CEO requested the government to support the biggest manufacturing sector of Pakistan which employs 3 million direct and indirect labour and promote the ‘Made in Pakistan’ policy by encouraging industrialisation.
“The auto sector foresees a promising future and becoming the biggest contributor to the government’s macroeconomic goals, provided a predictable and long term auto policy is in place,” he concluded.