Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi along with other federal cabinet members have dissolved the Engineering Development Board on Wednesday. The Engineering Development Board worked under Ministry of Industries and Production supervision. EDB was basically a govt body whose main aim was to boost and improve the engineering structure in Pakistan. This decision has been taken in light of the recent delays in approval of various CPEC projects. The government now feels that the board has no real use.
As per the sources, “This led to a directive from the Prime Minister to Dissolve the Organization since it was no longer able to serve any useful purpose.”
It is pertinent to mention here that a recent amendment in Finance Bill 2016-17 already weakened EDB’s standing in decision making. The necessity of EDB’s verification in order to acquire duty exemption was already eradicated for the IPP projects more than 25MW. The power of EDB to verify projects above 25MW was given to the Ministry of Water and Power. It seems that the government was slowly & steadily taking powers away from the board.
The Engineering Development Board played an essential role in growing the local auto market of Pakistan and promoting companies & automakers to locally provide auto parts to the customers. Thus it saved quite a huge amount of money used in foreign exchange & taxation.
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EDB has more achievements to its credit which includes the implementation of deletion program that was initiated in the 1990s and the start of the WTO-complaint tariff-based system. The board revived the truck & buses manufacturing system in Pakistan by controlling smuggling cases. Preperstion of first and second auto policy in the year 2007 and 2016 are also some of its acheivements.
It seems that despite these efforts by the EDB, the government has failed it. The board was under staffed and it had a lot of burden as it had to give results in limited resources. so much so that it was even functional without any CEO for three years between 2012-2015. Since March 2017 EDB again didnt have any CEO.Now the board is being dissolved, lets see how it will affect the engineering development in the country.