Parliamentary committee ‘surprised’ to know that there is no procedure present to check the standard of vehicles in Pakistan
However, he further said that senior officials in the related ministries benefited from the auto companies.
A parliamentary committee was surprised to know that there is no mechanism for regulating safety and standard requirements for automobiles in the country. This revelation was made to them when being briefed about the safety measures used in locally manufactured/assembled vehicles.
On Monday, the officials of the Ministry of Industries and Production (MoIP) told the National Assembly’s standing committee about the safety measures. They said that there was no mandate to ensure the standard and quality of the locally assembled/manufactured vehicles.
“Our attached department, the Engineering Development Board (EDB), is only mandated for the assembly/manufacturing of vehicles under SRO 656(1)/2006 and for the assembly/manufacturing of auto parts under SRO 655(1)/2006. The EDB therefore only verifies the imported CKDs under the said SROs for all types of vehicles,” the officials informed the standing committee.
MoIP Secretary Afzal Latif told the committee that there was no procedure present to check the standard of vehicles being manufactured. The standard development and enforcement fall under the mandate of the Pakistan Standard Quality Control Authority (PSQCA). PSQCA is an attached department of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
‘Not included in the list for mandatory items for PSQCA’:
An EDB official told the committee that the vehicles were not included in the list for mandatory items for PSQCA. Currently, no government organization was keeping a check on safety standards.
While criticizing the government for this loophole, Committee member Ali Gohar Khan said, “Despite charging exorbitant amounts, the people are left with no option but to buy more expensive and poor-quality vehicles.”
However, he further said that senior officials in the related ministries benefited from the auto companies. This is because they allowed the companies to keep manufacturing the same vehicles without upgrades.
Another committee member said that the 600cc imported vehicles had better interiors than above 1,000cc locally assembled vehicles.
The industries secretary rejected the impression that the ministry officials benefited from the local auto firms. He said that MoIP/EDB does not have the mandate to regulate vehicle quality, standards and pricing of locally manufactured vehicles.
The secretary said that the ministry was now suggesting a separate department that would have the required machinery and laboratories in the next budget.
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