ISLAMABAD - The Senate was told on Tuesday that Pakistanis imported 2,69,887 used vehicles during the last 5 years and the country witnessed around 120% increase in the import of used vehicles during the same period.

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Textile Abdul Razak Dawood in his written reply told the House that according to the information provided by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Pakistanis also imported 4,695 new vehicles during the last five years besides importing of used vehicles.

The new and used imported vehicles included tractors, buses, motor cars and vehicles, trucks and motorcycles or scooters, he said.

For the year 2013-14, as many as 33,655 used vehicles were imported in the country; 44,131 during 2014-15; 54,328 during 2015-16; 64,762 during 2016-17 and 73,001 used vehicles were imported during July 2017 to May 2018. Thus, there is total 120 percent increase in the import of used vehicles from to 2013-14 to 2017-18, he said.

Similarly, Pakistanis imported 7,143 new vehicles during 2013-14; 5,797 during 2014-15; 5593 during 2015-16; 12,315 during 2016-17 and 10,847 during July 2017 to May 2018. The data shows that there is increase of 43 percent in the import of new vehicles during the last five years.

Earlier this month, Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet re-introduced certain restrictions on the import of used cars. ECC approved the proposal of Ministry Of Commerce that duty and taxes for all imported vehicles, new and used, will be paid out of foreign exchange arranged by Pakistani nationals themselves.

In a separate written reply, the minister in-charge of the Aviation Division informed the Senate that 64 employees of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)’s cargo staff had been found involved in taking out valuables from the luggage of passengers during the last five years. He said that the government and the state-owned airline had taken a number of steps to control such stealing incidents. The steps include installation of CCTV cameras by PIA at all premises and important locations to beef up and improve the security system coupled with Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Airport Security Force (ASF) monitoring system. Similarly duty rosters are adjusted and duties are re-arranged on monthly basis to break any cell or interlink at lower level if any. The minister told the house that under the practice all individuals are thoroughly searched or frisked physically while entering or leaving the premises. Similarly, whenever, the complaints are received verbally or in black and white, the ground checks are carried out immediately and the culprits are given due punishment under the rules.