LAHORE - Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association has appealed to the Federal Minister for Industries Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi to immediately start consultation with all automotive producers and part makers while formulating new long term auto industry development policy.

In a letter written to the minister on Sept 29, 2014 director general PAMA Abdul Waheed Khan has pointed out that it was reported that the draft for AIDP which was prepared before budget 2014-15 was held back so that the concerned stakeholders could be consulted in this regard before finalizing it. He regretted that since then there has been no consultation and the ministry did not invite auto industry representatives for consultation.

He suggested that it would be more prudent to send the drafted AIDP to the stakeholders for comments as universally practiced in case of any sector specific policy.

He said that the concerned producers would then give their input and suggestions for further improvement in the policy. He pointed out that long term auto policy will determine the level of participation of the auto industry in the country. He pointed out that many investments have been kept on hold pending the announcement of the AIDP.

If government wants to create more jobs and pursue sustainable development, it must encourage local manufacturing industry which adds more value to economy as the current state of economy cannot sustain the confused direction taken by previous governments.

The local auto industry currently contributes approximately 2% to GDP; with encouraging policy and enabling environment, local auto industry is capable to double its contribution to 5% within next 5 to 7 years besides creating millions of jobs.

He said that the industry held several rounds of discussions over the last two years with the EDB/MOI to firm up the new AIP but suddenly a draft has been presented to ECC without the knowledge of industry representatives.

He further added that vehicle manufacturing is a high profile industry that saves foreign exchange, generates tax revenue, employs millions of people and is often a proxy for a nation’s manufacturing prowess and economic influence. ‘It is a great economic activity generator on many fronts. It can be the engine to launch the economy exponentially.

 ‘The government must decide how to pursue industrialization growth i.e. manufacturing or trading by looking at the examples of countries like Thailand, Indonesia and India who have nurtured their industries until the threshold volumes were achieved to gain competitiveness and were not ruffled by the years of protection given to the industry,’ he reasoned.