Pakistan’s auto industry has revolutionised the life of the people. The sector is a significant contributor to the national exchequer and has created hitherto unknown employment opportunities. It has also strengthened many allied industries which include automobile parts, tyre manufacturers, workshops, shops etc. It has also been instrumental in creating educational opportunities for aspiring engineers.

It is disappointing to note then that the auto sector is suffering at the hands of policy makers who have repeatedly taken decisions that have adversely affected local auto makers. Figures show that sales are down by 24 per cent while production has also gone down as compared to the previous fiscal year (2011-12). While there are many reasons for this sharp decline, it is the illegal import of used cars from foreign markets under the guise of certain schemes that have done the sector in. Thanks to these schemes, the influential used-car importers lobby is minting money while the local industry suffers from decreased sales and profit margins. At this rate, the local auto sector will downsize to cut costs and eventually shut down while the consumers will go back to settling for used and obsolete imported vehicles that come with no guarantees or after-sales service.

ALAMGIR KHAN,

Karachi, March 11.