ISLAMABAD

The Senate standing Committee on Industries on Tuesday sought report from car assemblers regarding safety features they are offering in their locally assembled cars.

During the session called for a briefing on the performance of Ministry of Industries and its allied departments the members’ reprimanded officials for not performing according to their mandate.

The car manufacturers have become a cartel and openly cars are sold on own (black), said committee chairman Senator Hidayat Ullah.

During the discussion officials apprised the committee that American car company General Motors and German Car manufacturer Volkswagon, have been contacted to set up their production in the country to break the monopoly of Japanese car assemblers.

Federal Minister Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi informed the committee that Yamaha Company was interested in investing in Pakistan and for this Memom group of Karachi was allotted 50 acres of land for an investment of $150 million.

According to official data Suzuki, Indus Motors and Honda are the major players in Pakistani auto market. In 2012-13, Pakistan Suzuki Motor Company, Indus Motors Limited and Honda Motors were the major players with market share of 55 percent, 27 percent and 18 percent respectively.

Exorbitant prices of local assembled cars, as compare to neighbouring country India, lack of safety and other features has been pointed out by the consumers and professionals equally over the period.

But despite all hue and cry the car assemblers continue to monopolies the market. Government has yet to announce much awaited Auto Policy, which, according to government’s promise, would create a healthy competition, which will benefit consumers.

During the standing committee meeting National Fertilizer Company representatives said that 50 percent fertilizer was imported through Gwadar, as per ECC decision. For coming crop, tenders for the procurement of .25 million tones fertilizers, has been floated and the country has enough urea for the whole year, officials said.

Chairman revealed that a bag of fertilizer was sold at a very high price in FATA, whereas in other parts of the country the price was very less.

There should be a uniform pricing structure for fertilizer throughout the country, he demanded.

On pointed questions of members aimed to understand the role of ministry in the promotion of Industry in the country, the Secretary Industries finally admitted that his department was just acting as a post office, due to limited powers.

The performance of steel mill was also discussed and the officials said that Chairman Karachi Steel Mills promised to increase the productivity of the mill but despite a generous bailout package of Rs.80 billion, the company was asking for more.

Steel Mill Chairman Zaheer apprised the committee that due to excessive dump of material, the problems were piling up on daily basis.

However he claimed that the productivity has been increased to 42 percent.

The committee called the next session one day before Ramadan and directed Utility Stores Corporation to provide a list of items on which government has announced subsidy.