May 19 - 25, 2008

The custom authorities have collected Rs 4.811 billion import duty on 14,235 vehicles of various categories including luxury vehicles imported during the first nine months (July-March) of the fiscal year 2007-08.

During the same period last year, 20,713 vehicles, having a value of Rs9.304 billion, had fetched around Rs4.733 billion towards the customs duty. According to figures made available to PAGE, 11,730 vehicles, having a value of Rs5.387 billion, were non-commercial and remaining were commercial. However, the highest number of vehicles (9,365) was imported under the personal baggage scheme, having a value of Rs3.626 billion, and these contributed Rs2.720 billion towards the customs duty.

A fairly large number of 2,190 brand new and luxurious cars were also imported during this period at a total value of Rs1.721 billion and fetched Rs1.154 billion towards the duty. Under the gift and transfer of residence scheme, only eight and 167 vehicles were imported with a value of Rs 6.286 and Rs 33.553 million respectively during the period under review.

During the same period last year, 3,701 vehicles were imported under the transfer of residence and 41 under the gift scheme. A large number of 346 reconditioned dumpers, having a value of Rs353.268 million and with customs duty of Rs75.520 million, were imported under the transfer of residence scheme. Similarly, 38 brand new dumpers were imported, having a value of Rs155.478 million and customs duty of Rs7.774 million.

As many as 390 new vans and 936 pick-ups were imported during this period, having a value of Rs283 and Rs808 million respectively.

Moreover, sources in the Ministry of Industries told PAGE that the government has unveiled a pre-determined five-year tariff under the "Auto Industry Development Plan" (AIDP) to increase production turnover of the auto industry and annual export of parts to $10 billion and $650 million respectively by 2011. The plan discourages import of used cars through tariff measures and calls for introduction of a computerised registration system on a uniform basis for access across the country.

The annual gross sales turnover of the auto industry, at present, stands at around Rs 210 billion while exports of auto parts are estimated at $35 million. As such, production turnover is projected to increase by 185 per cent while exports of auto parts would make quantum jump. The plan envisages development of two auto-parts vendor clusters near Port Qasim, Karachi and Motorway, Lahore and seeks to reduce the existing monopolistic tendencies of the existing manufacturers by encouraging new entrants, the sources said.

According to them, the plan seeks to enhance auto-sector's contribution in GDP to 5.6 per cent and the share in manufacturing sector to 25 per cent by 2011. Likewise, the employment level has been projected to increase from 192,000 to 250,000 direct jobs and from around one million to 2.5 million indirect jobs.

The policy also envisages discouragement to the existing policy for the import of used cars and trucks. As such, the depreciation on import value of used cars would be reduced from two to one per cent per month and total depreciation limited up to 25 per cent only while transfer of residence and baggage rules would be implemented strictly, the sources said.