Back in January senate was displeased with the automobile industry. They put their concerns before the house. This issue was in the notice from that month.
Senate has shown displeasure over the local auto industry for assembling vehicles in the name of manufacturing, radically increasing prices without any checks, and failing to maintain safety measures endangering the lives of those who drive them.
According to a report published in Dawn in January, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Swati informed Senate that new rules were being put in place to punish the manufacturers of insecure vehicles and said that a draft to this was put before the federal cabinet as well. He said the companies would be held accountable for an accident claiming lives if the airbags in cars did not open and other standard safety safeguards were not in place.
On that occasion, Senator Atiq Ahmad Shaikh said the automobile industry had formed a cartel and jerry-built vehicles were being assembled in the country. He said a cartel was in control to ensure immediate delivery on the payment of an additional amount in the name of ‘own’. He also said these companies kept on increasing prices without any check and failed to meet their pledges under which downstream factories were to be set up, adding that new investment in the sector could not be attracted because of this cartel.
A parliamentary committee on Thursday, while voicing concerns over the rising prices of vehicles in the country has decided to call Federal Minister for Industries and Production and representatives of automobile manufacturers in the next meeting to explain the reasons for higher car prices.
Senate standing committee on Industries and Production, which met under the chair of Senator Ahmad Khan, has discussed the issue of roaring car prices in the country. The committee members have noted that automobile companies are increasing the prices without bringing any enhancement or additional features to the vehicles. They said that people could not think to buy new cars due to their higher prices. The committee noted that companies are increasing the prices on their own, while always making the excuse of increasing dollar rate and government’s taxes.
Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi said that there is no authority in the country, which could control the vehicle prices. He said that automobile manufacturers had not taken any actions for local production of the cars, which are made by importing their spare parts from other countries. Quoting the report of the Competition Commission of Pakistan, he said that automobiles had received more than Rs 6,000 billion from the consumers in Pakistan. He said that the prices of cars are almost double when compared to India and Bangladesh.
Committee Chairman said that automobile manufacturers are importing parts from other countries in spite of there are many production plants in the country. He said that other countries are producing electric vehicles and we could not establish a plan for hybrid cars.
Senator Asif Kirmani said that car prices are very high in the country which is around Rs 4 million, whereas it should be around 1 million rupees. The companies are burgling people by charging higher prices. He said that government should ban local manufacturing as it is not producing standard vehicles in the country despite charging higher prices.
Later, the committee has decided to call Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar and representatives of cars manufacturing companies in the next meeting to explain the reasons for higher prices and other related issues. The committee has wanted explanations in terms of standard of cars, imported parts, profits of the companies, features & equipment provided in vehicles from the government and cars manufacturing companies.