LAHORE - The major investment in auto industry has been kept on hold for the last two years, as the formulation of Pakistan Auto Industry Plan (PAIP) 2014-19, after an initial flurry of activities, has again been placed on the back burner, putting the industry in a constant state of uncertainty.

Although a meeting has been convened in Islamabad on January 7 to finalise the auto policy but the copy of the draft policy has not been shared with the auto parts industry stakeholders despite repeated requests.

Industry sources said that that current exercise of auto policy formulation had lost its credibility as the government had neither appointed a competent CEO of EDB nor engaged industry experts to get inputs on future vision for the auto sector.

They said that vacancies of CEO at the Engineering Development Board (EDB) has been lying vacant for the last 18 months and any long-term auto policy could not be acceptable in the absence of an experienced and dynamic CEO.

The EDB has so far not conducted any benchmarking exercise of other countries similar to Pakistan in terms of volumes & technological complexity while formulating the proposals for auto policy. They said that Pakistan had a total demand for 245,000 vehicles out of which around 199,000 vehicles were locally produced while the remaining 46,000 were imported as used cars till 2007. However, the volume remained as low as 137,000 vehicles in CY 2013, which is 45 percent lower than the level of 199,000 vehicles achieved in CY 2007.

Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts & Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM) Chairman, M Siddique Misri, in a letter written to the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has raised objections and expressed serious concerns over the unfair process of Auto Policy formulation.

He criticised the government for not maintaining transparency in the preparation of PAIP, despite giving impression to take the industry on board.

Moreover, he stated that PAAPAM has issued a Rejoinder on Competition Commission of Pakistan’s report on the Auto Industry, which is based on un-researched and obsolete information, leading to fallacious conclusions and recommendations, that could endanger the vast potential of the Automobile Sector and the 3 million citizens that are directly & indirectly linked with this industry.

Senior Vice Chairman Mumshad Ali said that the Association wishes to record its protest that the CCoP did not consider it appropriate to consult us in preparing the report on Pakistan Auto Industry.

He said that Competition Commission of Pakistan’s report is geared towards promoting used car traders mafia and total closure of the mother of all industries.