I would like to draw your attention to the demand put forward by the All Pakistan Motor Dealers Association (APMDA) to the government to allow commercial imports of used vehicle of up to 10 years of age in the forthcoming budget to provide relief to the common customers. In its budget proposals sent to the Finance Ministry, APMDA Chairman HM Shahzad has said the import of vehicles up to 10 years old would benefit the local car customers but also generate huge revenues for the government.
They are under the misconception that the import of used cars is the answer to providing affordable cars to local consumers and that this will create an environment of healthy competition and will ensure a steady supply of quality and reasonably priced cars.
It needs to be emphasised that such cars are almost at the end of their productive life, or are not compatible with Pakistani conditions. Often the odometer of such used cars is reversed, using unscrupulous techniques to give the false impression that the vehicle has done low mileage. There is also no after sales service and parts support for such vehicles and ultimately the customer suffers.
As it is, the import of five-year-old cars is already causing embarrassment to the government, as most of them are priced at the rates of brand new cars manufactured locally.
This policy is hazardous to environment as the rate of emission of carbon from used vehicles is much higher than the rate of brand new cars. If the government continues with further relaxation, it would not only harm the consumers in the long run, who will end up with high priced junk cars with no spare parts and after sale services.