There has been hue and cry from the people over the years as the local auto industry has charged exuberantly for vehicles while providing a product that doesn’t match the international standards. Now, the Senate has shown discontent over this as the automakers “assemble” cars and call it manufacturing, hike prices without any rationale and don’t maintain safety standards endangering the lives of those who drive them.
As per the media reports, Azam Swati, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs briefed Senate that new regulations will be implemented under which the makers of unsafe cars will be punished and a draft of said rules will be sent to the federal cabinet.
He added that the automakers will be held liable for an accident claiming lives, if the airbags in cars fail to deploy or other standard safety safeguards aren’t in place. He said, “They (automakers) will have to pay multi-million rupees in fine.”
The Minister added that these companies had been allowed to import machinery with no tax on it but they were only assembling cars and calling it manufacturing.
Senator Atiq Ahmad Shaikh said that the auto industry was acting like a cartel and assembling shoddy cars in the country. He added that a mafia was in place that guaranteed immediate delivery on the payment of an extra amount in the name of ‘own’. He further stated that they kept hiking the prices without any logic and failed to meet their end of the bargain.
Senator Mohsin Aziz agreed with the other Senators that the automakers were only assembling cars in the country and not manufacturing them. Senator Rehman Malik bemoaned that there was no oversight on prices of ‘locally manufactured’ cars and proposed creating an authority that looked at price and quality.