Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar will announce the electric vehicle policy for four-wheelers in Pakistan within the next two to three weeks. The federal government has already announced the EV policy for two- and three-wheelers.
During a virtual press conference on Wednesday, Mr. Azhar explained that he will be announcing the EV policy for four-wheelers within a few weeks, and that this would give the government enough time to prepare itself for the challenges and opportunities associated with the domain.
“The Electrical Vehicle policy, which I will be introducing within the next 2 to 3 weeks, will also address some of the issues in the automobile industry. But for overall measures, we have to wait until June. I think that is also an advantage for the government since we will have some time to prepare ourselves and get informed about the challenges and opportunities of this sector,” he said.
He further explained that automotive manufacturers are increasingly interested in setting up new plants, or expanding their existing plants, in Pakistan. He pointed out that the federal government could not take any dramatic measures with regards to automotive policy until the existing policy expires in 2021.
“The Automotive Development Policy was developed in 2016 and it is expiring in June 2021. Until the policy expires, we cannot undertake any drastic measures for this segment, but once it does we will have the opportunity to take a fresh look at this sector and the legislative or operational requirements to promote the automobile industry in Pakistan,” he stated.
He highlighted the fact that automotive companies that did not already have plants in the country were showing an interest in launching operations here at some point in the near future.
He pointed out that the previous policy in place for the domain of automotive development in Pakistan was very prohibitive, and it had made it difficult for existing players to gain some room. With the removal of these restrictions, not only were existing companies able to operate more freely, but a lot of room and opportunity was created for new players as well.
Responding to a question about new companies and whether they will manufacture cars in Pakistan or merely establish assembly plants, Azhar clarified, “In the beginning, they will have assembling operations but since their tariff concessions expire after 10 years, then it is more viable for them to start localized production as well.”