New auto policy

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THE government is reportedly to unveil its new auto policy in March next year with tax incentives to lower prices and give relief to the consumers.
There is no denying the fact that the prices of cars are quite high in Pakistan due to heavy taxation and it is good news that the government intends to extend tax incentives to the industry to bring down their prices. Bringing the prices at affordable level will also increase the sale of vehicles which saw a slump in the wake of breakout of Covid-9. It is important that the new auto policy is framed after consultations with all the stakeholders. The existing auto policy, expiring next year, had greatly helped in attracting new players and huge investment in auto sector especially from China and Korea. Need of the hour is to bring a long-term and predictable policy as is the demand of the industry in order to encourage new investment in the industry which provides immense job opportunities from manufacturing to logistics. Secondly, it must be made mandatory for the existing auto companies as well as new entrants to ultimately shift the technology to Pakistan. They should not only build their assembly plants in the country but locally manufacture all the parts and equipment of vehicles. This will not only help further bring down the prices of vehicles but also help strengthen the base of small and medium enterprises. Currently the cars that are assembled in our country lack the required safety standards. Therefore, the new policy must envisage safety regulations as well as quality checks for the auto sector ensuring that the vehicles manufactured in Pakistan are as per the international standards and equipped with the latest features. Action must be taken against the companies failing to comply with these regulations. Those interested in manufacturing electric vehicles should be especially encouraged and incentivized ensuring that such vehicles also remain within the reach of majority of people. This will be a big step towards reducing our reliance on the imported fuel.

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