According to a report by Dawn, the government has decided to roll out and make the EV policy operational from January 2020. This has been done even though there is resistance from the auto sector. The EV policy got approval from the federal cabinet back in November 2019. On the coming Thursday, the Ministry for Climate Change (MoCC) is also chairing an inter-ministerial meeting to discuss the implementation of the EV policy in the country. Earlier the MoCC has directed government departments and ministeries that the EV policy needs to be operational by January 2020. The direct quote from the ministry is as follows:
“NEVP needs to be operational by January 2020 by validation of incentive packages through the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC).”
The Prime Minister has already directed the authorities to implement the EV policy earlier for two and three-wheeler vehicles and public transport like the buses. The EV policy is being undertaken to tackle environmental issues like the smog. Solving environmental issues like pollution has been on the agenda of the present government. To pursue this end, the EV policy is being implemented by the MoCC under the directive of the Prime Minister and the Federal Cabinet.
The inter-ministerial committee is in line with section 8 of the policy. Under this, the committee will include members from academia, federal ministries, and the private sector. This inter-ministerial committee will be tasked with evaluating the entire value chain of electric vehicles. This will help the government to incentivize the local manufacturing of EVs in Pakistan better. Manufacturing EVs locally will make them very cheap to buy and maintain in the country.
The committee will also decide on issues like compliance, standardization, and regulation of the EV sector. The task of the committee will carry on even after the implementation of the EV policy. The committee will also recommend periodic amendments to the policy as new technology gets introduced, and as the marketplace evolves over time. Therefore, the task of the inter-ministerial committee is very crucial for both the implementation and the long-term success of the EV policy.
However, the auto sector as a whole is not welcoming to the new EV policy. It opposed the EV policy when it got approval in November 2019 as concerns of the major stakeholders were not taken into consideration by the government. The Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) stated:
“We have not been invited to the inter-ministerial meeting on Thursday. We have also not been taken into confidence on National Electric Vehicle Policy (NEVP).”
The PAMA had stated that it was still discussing the provisions of the EV policy with the Engineering Development Board (EDB) when the policy got approved by the Federal Cabinet on November 5. According to PAMA, the government has taken a big step in the direction of EVs, while the current situation of the auto sector is bleak at best. The climate ministry had already floated the draft policy, while necessary consultations and input were being taken from the stakeholders of the auto sector.
Stakeholders wanted the Ministry of Industries and Production (MoIP) to handle the matter and voiced this concern in the meeting chaired by the EBD on May 23, 2019. It was unusual and surprising for the PAMA to see that while the EBD was having consultations with it, the MoCC drafted a summary policy and circulated it. The government needs to keep all the stakeholders on board in order to make the EV policy successful in the long run. This will be conducive to developments in the auto sector, and current players will also try to include some EV offerings in their product portfolios.
Previously, Special counsel on Petroleum Division to the Prime Minister Imran Khan, Nadeem Babar, had also stated that the sitting government had revolutionized the outlook for energy in Pakistan.
Under the EV policy, 100,000 cars and 500,000 two and three-wheeler vehicles will be converted to electric power. Special Economic Zones have also been approved to facilitate electric car manufacturing plants. These plants will enjoy tax breaks and other amenities so that the cost of production for electric cars is low.
Moreover, as a major benefit of the introduction of electric cars in Pakistan, the annual oil import bill of the country is expected to reduce by $2 billion, as said by the adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam.
Moving onwards, a few weeks back, Pakistan Electric Vehicles and Parts Manufacturers and Traders Association (PEVPMTA), Amin Aslam announced that the local automobile manufacturers in Karachi have successfully made electric vehicle conversion kits. According to him, the cost of converting the combustion engine motorbike into electric with the help of this kit will be around Rs.20,000 to Rs.35,000. However, it will cost more in the case of three-wheelers and cars depending upon the type of vehicle.
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