LAHORE – The auto vending industry is looking forward to a pro-industry budget which should give support to counter the various issues faced by the SME units including energy crisis and law & order.

Looking forward to the implementation of AIDP-II, the auto vendors stressed the need for promoting large scale automotive industries, which have adequate capacities to fulfil local as well as export demands, observed chairman of the BFP and PAAPAM Syed Nabeel Hashmi.

Addressing the managing committee of the Association, he said that the government would have to focus on upgrading electric distribution managements, devolve DISCOs to provincial levels and invest in energy solutions in the forthcoming budget to achieve key economic targets set for the year 2012-13. He demanded the government to allocate maximum funds in the upcoming budget, for the construction of dams, tapping of Thar coal, completion of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline and establishment of LNG terminals and power projects. He said that the government should share its energy plan with the industrial bodies, as the highest ever electricity tariff and power outages have crippled the industry in general and SMEs in particular, which have no option except government generated electricity.

He said that the unemployment, price-hikes, industrial closures always give birth to lawlessness and anarchy and urged the government to reset its priorities. He said that TDAP funding lines must be enhanced so that it can participate more professionally in international trade fairs, besides trimming its own structure and making it more professional. He proposed the govt to strengthen EDB to develop Pakistan’s engineering sector especially the SMEs.

Regarding trade with India, he appreciated the ministry of commerce for taking necessary steps to ensure that adequate space exists for auto sector prior to full opening of auto trade with India. We however have a lot of work to do especially within the Pakistan Standard Quality control authority whom we feel is currently clueless of the role it is required to play for development of Pakistan’s industrial base expecailly with a focus on trade with India. We are also expecting that necessary steps shall also be taken to discourage import of used cars which is eating away employment in Pakistan.

Chairman PAAPAM said that his Association has concluded its series of meetings with the various Government organizations on the annual Budget and appreciated Deputy Chairman Planning commission for understanding their position on tariffs and his comments to support R&D and a competitive based industrial culture in Pakistan.  He welcomed the issuance of amnesty SRO for sales tax defaulters by the FBR, but warned that this is not a complete solution to the problem. It is essential that a complete package including installment plans for principal amounts repayments and penalty surcharge waivers be also announced, he added.

PAAPAM Vice Chairman Munir K. Bana observed that by implementing Auto Industry Development Programme, PAAPAM wants to enhance exports of auto parts.

, besides increasing financial support for BMR of the automotive SME sector.

He asked the govt to reduce costs of imported inputs for auto component manufacturing and sought reduction in Sales Tax rate from 16 per cent to 12 per cent, besides proposing cut in Income Tax rate from 35 per cent to 20 per cent.