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EDB shutdown report shocks auto parts makers

By our correspondents
June 15, 2017

KARACHI: Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM) on Wednesday voiced concerns over a report that the government has, in principle, decided to disband Engineering Development Board (EDB). 

EDB is the apex government body under Ministry of Industries & Production entrusted to strengthen engineering base in Pakistan. It was established to oversee multiple areas related to the sector. 

“According to news report this decision was taken at a high-level meeting but in the absence of stakeholders from the engineering industry,” Mashood Khan, chairman PAAPAM, said in a statement on Wednesday. 

“Dissolution of an institution, which has been instrumental in promoting the sector and spearheading the acceleration of localisation, on charges that have neither been fully substantiated nor verified through a systematic audit, would be a travesty of justice and fair play.” 

Khan continued that based on the internal dynamics, managing the engineering industry, and particularly the auto sector, is a complicated task and requires great degree of expertise and experience. 

 “This decision-making strength and control in the EDB has evolved from its strong governing bodies, i.e., the board of directors and also Auto Industry Development Committee (AIDC),” he said and added, “Unfortunately, during the last two years of the EDB head’s tenure, the board lost its strength completely.”

The current problems, the PAAPAM official said, do not lie with the institution at all, but rather its head. “This move will derail the engineering industry, especially the auto sector, while the lack of expertise will further complicate the situation, dealing a blow to the investments in the sector, especially vending,” Khan said.

Moving ahead, chairman PAAPAM strongly advised the government to revoke the decision of disbanding EDB immediately. “Appointment of a thorough professional as the chief executive officer of the EDB will improve the situation, while powers of AIDC should be revived and formalised to ensure a strong monitoring system and check and balance,” he suggested.