ISLAMABAD: Automakers in Pakistan would be required to introduce airbags and anti-locking braking system (ABS) even in 800cc vehicles as part of the minimum safety standards set in the new automobile policy.
The policy will be tabled by the Ministry of Industries and Production before the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC).
During a briefing to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) examining audit paras pertaining to the ministry for the period of 2010-11, Secretary MoIP Raja Hassan Abbas shared details of the new policy.
After the PAC meeting, Abbas told Dawn that the new policy proposed setting up of security features for all types of cars including 800cc cars.
According to him, the safety features included fitting of ABS, an automobile safety system that allows the wheels on a motor vehicle to maintain tractive contact with the road surface and airbags.
Abbas said that these security features may increase the cost of the vehicles.
Another proposal is regarding the mode of payment. The new policy proposed deposit of 1/4th of total amount at the time of booking of a car. Currently, the car dealers take full amount from the buyer at the time of booking and deliver the vehicle after 3-6 months gap.
Abbas said at the time of advance payment, car manufacturers would give a deadline for delivery of the vehicle. The balance amount will be cleared at the time of delivery.
The new policy also proposed that manufacturers may recall vehicles after every 10 years, he said.
?The manufacturers have to change the shape and design of the cars after every 10 years. In other countries, manufacturers change the shape of the vehicle after every 3 to 5 years,? he added.
He expressed hope that the new policy would promote the industry. ?The three car manufacturers in Pakistan have capacity to produce 300,000 cars per annum but at present they are making 125,000 cars?, he disclosed. In addition there is a good market of imported used cars as the people prefer these because of security features.
?The policy to allow import of used cars has increased competition in the market,? said Mian Abdul Manan, a PAC member.