Saturday, September 24, 2011

Import tariff rationalization plan , PAAPAM criticizes govt

Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts Accessories Manufacturers incoming central chairman has said the IMF-planted policy makers at federal level who have nothing to do with the local industry, want to impose the ‘import tariff rationalization’ plan, which will ruin the whole domestic economy and industry.
Talking to the newspaper The Nation, the PAAPAM Punjab chairman said that following the imposition of the so called ‘import tariff rationalization’ there would be no manufacturing or employment generation activity in Pakistan. He said that the IMF-planted high planners of the unfortunate nation wants that local industrialists should close their heavy investment incentive establishments and simply import Completely Built Units.
He further said that it is easier to import CBUs than investing billions of rupees in infrastructure development, transfer of technology and management of huge production plants with highly technically skilled human resource. Such options would completely destroy the engineering base of the country, he added.
Reacting to the recommendations of a foreign Consultancy firm, Gary Persul, to introduce blanket import tariff in Pakistan, he said it would be devastating for the local industry.
He said that the recommendations of the so-called Australian expert being imposed, ignoring the ground realities in Pakistan. “To have no checks on imports, drastically lower import tariffs, no specific duties, no classification between manufacturing and import and no licenses for import and export are few examples from the recommendations which are going to completely wipe out the manufacturing base in the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association has said that existing investment in Pakistan is under great threat and the investors may seek relocations of their plants. The hostile and harmful policies of the government will not attract any new investor in the country despite driving away the potential investors, spokesman of PAMA sai. He further added that the government is itself the biggest loser of import relaxations as it is letting massive country’s reserves as on an average a CBU vehicle consumes twice foreign exchange as compared to CKD operations.
He cited an example of New Zealand when in 2000, on the recommendation of an Australian team, similar sort of decision was taken which brought the local production at zero level and completely devastated its local Auto industry. He said that instead of facilitating investment in infrastructure and employment generating activities like manufacturing the govt seems bent upon supporting an anti-industry lobby thus turning the country into a trading economy rather than becoming a manufacturing economy which ensures job, business, revenue, skill and infrastructural development.
He said that the report by the Australian expert and its data was not shared with local stakeholders including the automotive manufacturers and the report is not even placed on the website of the planning commission of Pakistan which clearly shows that there is something fishy which the government wants to hide from the public.
It will not only be a loss to national kitty but more than 2 million local youth will be left unemployed besides the loss of billions of dollars investment at the plants of OEMs and associated vendor industries, he warned the high-ups. He urged them to refrain from implementing such policies that will make our nation a trading economy only but encourage and protect the local  industry instead which could save a huge foreign exchange.

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