By APD writer Muhammad Sohail
ISLAMABAD, April 15 (APD) -- Pakistan has approved eight applications of new entrants who want to set up vehicle assembling plants in Pakistan, local media reported Sunday.
Local media quoted a representative of the Engineering Development Board (EDB) of Pakistan as saying that the step would result in considerable foreign direct investment in the country creating more jobs.
The EDB was providing full support to strengthen the engineering base in Pakistan by creating a level playing field for all manufacturers, the official said.
The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) made the decision during an open hearing that was attended by the representatives of Federal Board of Revenue, Ministry of Commerce, Engineering Development Board (EDB), Excise and Taxation, representatives of auto manufacturers and consumers in large number.
Chairperson of the CCP said that the automobile sector plays a crucial role in generating an economic activity in the country, providing employment to a large number of people, and contributing to the national kitty through paying taxes and other relevant duties and charges.
However, the official said the CCP continues to receive concerns and complaints regarding the pricing of locally made cars, safety features, technological issues, delivery of vehicles, payment of premiums, and progress on the localization of auto industry and deletion programs.
The consumers in Pakistan complain of long delays in the delivery of vehicles after bookings, premiums charged by dealers, increasing prices of cars, and lack of safety features in the locally made cars, but the entrance of eight new companies will trigger a competition and will be a vital step to end monopoly of Japanese companies, including Toyota, Honda and Suzuki, the official said.
The official of Ministry of Commerce said that they are soliciting proposals from various stakeholders on the forthcoming budget including those in the automobile sector and asked the attendees to send their proposals to the Ministry.