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Auto makers asked to cut prices

KARACHI, April 11: Federal Industries and Production Minister, Liaquat Ali Jatoi has again asked the auto assemblers and parts makers to cut down prices so that their products could reach common man.

In a meeting with members of Pakistan Association of Auto Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM) at PIDC House on Friday, he urged the parts makers to prepare themselves for WTO challenges and laid emphasis on improving the skills of workers by launching training institutions.

The federal minister had been claiming for the last two months that the car assemblers would reduce the prices, but so far consumers had not witnessed any cut. The minister reiterated the government stance that import of used cars or used auto parts would not be allowed under any circumstances.

He said all possible steps were being taken to protect the local industry against smuggling, dumping and under invoicing. He said a proposal to empower the federal industries minister to take preventive action in this regard was under consideration.

Earlier, PAAPAM Chairman, Muhammad Ashraf Shaikh informed the minister that the vendor industry plans to boost investment from present Rs35 billion to Rs45 billion in 2005. He said estimated parts consumed per annum was Rs24 billion while estimated value of imported parts was Rs1 billion. He said estimated sales value of local parts was Rs8 billion while unaccounted and smuggled parts were Rs22bn. The exchequer was suffering a loss of Rs12.98 billion due to smuggling and under invoicing at import stage.

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