Arguments keep going back and forth between the Pakistani Auto-Sector and the government over various issues. As of late, we’ve seen the government and the auto sector butt heads over lack of incentives for the industry in the 2020 financial budget, and the government’s plans to import and manufacture the EURO-5 fuel in Pakistan.
In the latest development, however, the auto sector and the government have locked horns once again, but this time, over the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) demanding data from them. According to the reports, the automotive industry has argued that this “redundant practice” is likely to, “hurt the ease of doing business policy in the country”.
Both Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) and Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM) have expressed their concerns about this development in their letters addressed to the Chairman FBR Javed Ghani.
PAMA Director-General Abdul Waheed Khan stated in his letter to the Chairman FBR that
“The automobile industry has always supported the government’s stance over documentation of business, but this approach by FBR will be a negative impact on the local industry”.
He further added that the auto industry is under regular and thorough observation by various government institutions, including the FBR and Engineering Development Board (EDB). Therefore, complete information of the sector should already be available with the government, making this whole exercise redundant and a hurdle in the business.
Echoing the same argument, PAAPAM Chairman Muhammad Akram stated, “EDB has already implemented verification process, which is currently demanded by FBR,” implying once again that this repetitive exercise is but a hindrance in the automotive sector’s operations.
The auto sector has faced a significant slump in recent days owing to the COVID-19 induced lockdowns, which affected the sales. Plus, with the gradual rise in taxes and the depreciation of the dollar, the auto sector is facing immense pressure.
Add that to the fact that the government and the automakers are apparently going through serious incompatibility issues as of late, which doesn’t bode well for the auto industry or for the customers. At this point, let us hope that both parties can reach a consensus soon; one that benefits the people as well.
By: Muhammad Saeed