The government of Pakistan has decided to dissolve the Engineering Development Board (EDB), the existing and new entrants in car manufacturing sector in Pakistan has raised the voice against the decision without notifying the concerned parties prior to the decision and not providing any substitute.
The EDB was the only regulator for auto assemblers/manufacturers in Pakistan and it leaves serious concerns among automakers with this sudden decision by the government.
There are eight new companies looking forward to entering Pakistan’s Auto Market, five of them are in the process and two are awaiting approval for the authorities. The new players are worried and raised their voice concerning their future operations as the government has made no alternative arrangement.
According to an official at EDB, the decision has shocked five new entrants, along with Volkswagen and Renault still in the approval stage. The move will affect the international commitments, he added.
The official said there were no corruption charges nor any case registered against the officials of EDB, so there is not limped benefit dissolving the board, rather than just creating a panic among new market players, the official said.
People have now started questioning why the government has decided to dissolve the board, what was the purpose behind it. According to sources, government’s top-level officials overlook the role of EDB in managing affairs of the automotive sector. If EDB is being dissolved on the basis of corruption, then which organization will replace it? FBR is more corrupt than EDB, sources said.
EDB was working as a bridge between several authorities including the Automotive industry itself, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Industries and Production and the Ministry of Finance. The organization has regulated the issuance of input-output ratio certificate for automotive/engineering industry and making the policies after consulting the major stakeholders.
According to the official documents, EDB is the governmental body works under the ministry of industries in order to strengthen the engineering base in Pakistan. The body primarily focuses on the development of the engineering goods and services sector on modern dynamics.
In a response to Federal Cabinet’s decision to dismantle the board, Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) has written a letter to Prime Minister of Pakistan and asked him to immediately review and revert the decision.
It was EDB which served as an arm of the ministry of industries providing support to auto industry operations and also regulated the growth of auto industry since the early nineties, the letter said.