The government is considering setting up a separate electric vehicle (EV) board, similar to the Engineering Development Council (EDB), in an effort to promote environmentally friendly vehicles in the country.
In this connection, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain met with Prime Minister Imran Khan to discuss the role of his ministry in promoting EV in Pakistan.
He informed the prime minister of the stance taken by his ministry along with many other ministries to set up a separate council for EVs, which is an immediate requirement for the success of battery-powered transportation vehicles in the country.
The Secretary General of the Pakistan Electric Vehicle Manufacturers and Traders Association, Shaukat Qureshi, appreciated the government’s move to form a separate council for EVs.
“As we understand it, this is possible because of the joint efforts between the Ministry of IT, Ministry of Climate Change, Ministry of Industry and Production, and other relevant departments,” he told The Express Tribune.
According to the report, the prime minister appreciated the efforts aimed at promoting EVs in the country as they are the future of the world and a lifeline for Pakistan in terms of fuel economy and environmental protection.
During the meeting, the prime minister emphasized the importance of EV and called for setting up an EV council as early as possible, said a stakeholder with knowledge of the meeting.
“Since EV is the future of transportation around the world, Pakistan cannot be left behind and it is too late in adopting electric transportation due to the condition of the existing automotive sector,” Qureshi said in a letter written to the relevant department.
The EDB and the Automotive Industry Development Committee (AIDC) were formed more than two decades ago with the aim of regulating Pakistan’s auto industry, he explained.
“However, they were later taken over by a strong lobby to fulfill its goals and create rules and regulations that would benefit them,” he lamented.
“These beneficiaries will not stop opposing EVs and could create bad conditions for electric transportation.”
He voiced fear that by 2023 Japanese operators would introduce their EV models in Pakistan and once again they would dominate the country’s auto market.
“The establishment and quick functioning of a separate EV board is essential, which will help investors to set up their factories for local production of these vehicles,” he said.
“Currently, the relevant Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) and notifications aimed at giving concessions to EVs and related products are awaited.”
He stressed that control of the EV board should be given to the Ministry of Science and Technology or the Ministry of Commerce.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2021.
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