ISLAMABAD - Senate Standing Committee on Industries and Production on Friday has directed to take solid measures to curb the increasing own money mafia on car booking and purchasing.

The committee was informed by the Engineering Development Board EDB) on the question of own money on car bookings and purchasing raised by Senator Dr Asif Kirmani that in case of failure in the delivery of car within 60 days of the booking, the purchaser can claim back the own money payment as well as can impose a fine. It was further informed that the purchaser has to pay only 20 percent of the total price of the car at the time of booking. On the point of standardisation and quality of production and parts of the auto-mobiles, the committee was informed that the accessories of Honda Company are locally manufactured affecting the quality of products.

It was further informed that the EDB has no role to play as a regulator or in the standardisation of production. The Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA), which is an autonomous body subordinate to the Ministry of Science and Technology, has the mandate to regulate and enforce quality standards in Pakistan. The committee also showed concern over the procedure through which a car is cleared for road test and also inquired whether or not the procedure is counter checked by another authority other than the company itself. The committee also raised question from the EDB on the delayed delivery time of the automobiles.

The Senate Committee on Industries and Production met under the chairpersonship of Senator Khalida Ateeb. The CEO Engineering Development Board (EDB) while giving briefing to the Senate Committee apprised that the EDB was established in 1995. The Federal Cabinet re-constituted the Board of Management (BoM) of EDB in Feb 2019 which has 6 members from government and 12 private members representing leading engineering sectors. The committee was briefed on some of the policy and regulatory functions it performs including secretariat automotive Industry Development and export Committee (AIDEC) under AIDEP 2021-26, secretariat for the Mobile Device Manufacturing Policy and focal point for engineering industry inputs for annual Budget and Competitiveness exercise (Tariff and Taxes Rationalisation). It was also informed that in addition to a policy formulation role, EDB is the lead organisation for implementation of various government regulations for industry facilitation, including determination of price preference to be accorded, under import of engineering Goods (Control) Order, 2001.

The CEO further apprised the committee that the importance of role assigned to EDB can be gauged from the fact that engineering industry is the largest sector of trade in the world. In 2020, out of total global trade of $17.3 trillion, 56 percent or $9.7 trillion was of engineering goods. It was further informed that Auto Development Policy was successfully concluded in June 2021 in which 21 companies were awarded Greenfield status, whereas under the Mobile Device Development Policy approved in June 2020, 31 licenses have been issued by PTA in 2020-21 and major internationals companies like Samsung, Nokia, VIVO, OPPO, XIAomi, Tecno, infinix etc have invested and started local manufacturing/ assembling In Pakistan. Local assembling of mobiles reached to about 24.66 million during 2021 and commercial imports of CBU units are decreasing rapidly.

The committee was also apprised on the Auto Industry Development and Export Policy (AIDEP 2021-26) which gave incentives to auto sector under Auto Industry Development and Export Policy (AIDEP 2021-26). It was informed that all taxes are removed on locally manufactured cars up to 1,000cc (Meri Garri Scheme). The prices of locally manufactured cars have also been brought down (above 1,000cc) through reduction of FED by 2.5 percent on each category of cars /SUVs /LCVs.