‘Auto industry not consulted over Indian negative trade list’

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The government which is likely to phase out the proposed negative list for trade with India by the end of this year may bring trouble for the auto industry as the sector will not able to sustain liberalised trade with the neighbouring country in a short period of time. Ministry of Commerce, which had earlier assured the auto industry to protect it from the influx of Indian made ups through formulating a negative list, has not consulted the sector while finalising the list, Ali Asghar Jamali, Senior General Manager Sales and Marketing of Indus Motor Company Limited said in an informal meeting with selected media persons here on Monday. However, he said, his company was still analysing the proposed 311 items of auto sector enlisted as negative products/items for trade, and the detailed observations could only be shared once the list was studied in detail. However, the proposed timing for gradually phasing out the list was contrary to the ground realities.
It is worth mentioning here that the ministry has proposed to allow to progressively phasing out the list in three installments on quarterly basis after approval of the cabinet with quarters ending June 30, September 30 and December 31, 2012.
Talking about the performance of the company, he said despite economic crisis in the world, the sale target of 55,000 units during this financial year was expected to be met easily. Besides that there was already a required stock of vehicles, ensuring timely delivery of units. Like other sectors, auto sector was also facing the acute shortage of gas/electricity which has forced it to get supply from rental power plants making additional expenditures of Rs20 million monthly which also reflects in vehicles’ prices. In reply to a query, Jamali informed the company was thinking on the factory fitted Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) after the government’s ban on CNG kits and factory fitted CNG through SRO No 80. “But it is too early to say something about conversion of fuel with LPG power,” he added. Talking about localisation of the units assembled in the country, he said the company was preparing units through 30 per cent localised and 30 per cent imported parts besides paying 30 to 34 per cent taxes.
In an answer to a question he said, over 27,000 used cars have been imported during the last seven months, while the number of the used vehicles was expected to cross 40,000 by the end of this fiscal year. The increasing number of used vehicles was also badly affecting the demand of smart cars. In reply to a query, Babar Saleem, Corporate Communication Manager of the company said the company was against the import of CBU, while it would not oppose the import of CKD, if that was commercially viable.