By Anzal Amin
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Tarin said that Auto Industry Development and Export Policy (AIDEP) was aimed at promotion of auto industry in the country by increasing the production of cars, motorcycles, tractors at affordable rates.
While chairing a meeting to review a draft of Auto Industry Development and Export Policy (AIDEP) 2021-2026, he said that top most priority was to ensure consumer welfare through availability of cars at affordable rates for the middle and lower income groups, said a press release issued here.
He said that government had provided major relief to the consumers by reducing Sales tax on 850cc cars along with exemption from Value-added tax in the federal budget 2021-22.
Minister for Industries and Production Khusro Bakhtiar, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Finance and Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood, Secretary Finance Division, Secretary Commerce, Secretary M/O Industries and Production, Chairman FBR and other senior officers also attended the meeting.
The finance minister said the ministry of industries confirmed that prices of vehicles had been reduced commensurate with reduction in taxes and the industry had widely advertised for the information of the general public.
The policy would encourage exports of vehicles and automobile parts, he added.
The finance minister also underscored the importance of Electric Vehicles (EVs) and affirmed to provide incentives for developing Electric Vehicle market in Pakistan including EV charging infrastructure. The promotion of EVs would reduce dependence on oil import bill and promote environment friendly options, he added.
Tarin also stressed to come up with innovative products for provision of car financing at reduced mark-up to consumers so that everyone can afford a car at flexible terms and conditions.
Secretary, Ministry of Industries and Production briefed the participants about the salient features of the draft AIDEP 2021-26.
The vision of the AIDEP will make Pakistan a hub for competitive manufacturing of auto parts and vehicles for local markets as well as for exports.
The key focus is to strengthen the competition within locally manufactured vehicles in order to provide high quality vehicles at affordable prices to the consumers in the country. It also includes increase in export of automobile parts and vehicles to earn a valuable foreign exchange.
While speaking on the occasion, Khusro Bakhtiar said that new entrants might be encouraged in the auto sector particularly for EVs. This in turn, would encourage auto companies to invest in related infrastructure in Pakistan, he added.
Razak Dawood said that the existing tariff structure needed to be rationalized (in a phased manner) to promote auto industry in the country keeping in view, the objective of localization therefore to encourage local auto industry to come-up with high quality vehicles within affordable range.
In his concluding remarks, the finance minister emphasised broad-based consultation with key stakeholders on board to come up with an all-encompassing and futuristic auto policy.