ISLAMABAD: The business community welcomed the government’s decision to exempt hybrid cars from taxes, saying it will lead to a reduction in the oil import bill and promote a pollution-free environment in the country.
Hybrid cars of up to 1200cc engine capacity have been fully exempted from import duty, sales and income tax in the proposals for the federal budget for next fiscal year. Similarly, hybrid cars with engines ranging between 1201cc to 1800cc capacity have been exempted of 50% of the duty applicable on them, while hybrid cars with engines ranging from 1801cc to 2500cc have been waived 25% of the duties applicable on them.
“Not only will the decision reduce Pakistan’s oil import bill, it will also be a positive step towards improving the environment,” remarked a senior official of a leading car assembler while talking to the APP.
He said that imports of hybrid cars will also help control emissions of carbon-monoxide, which poses a serious threat to the environment.
He said that about 12.5 million vehicles are currently on the roads in the country, which are polluting the air and depriving the people of a neat and clean environment. He further said that around 80% of global environmental changes were due to automobile pollution.
He said that his company had so far sold more than five million hybrid vehicles since its launch, and that countries like India, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia were already importing them.
The official said that local Toyota assemblers will import some hybrid vehicles to fulfil domestic requirements, and that the company will also provide a quality guarantee of up to two years or 50,000 kilometres, whichever comes first, to facilitate its clients.
The use of hybrid cars reportedly leads to a 50% reduction in fuel consumption and expenses when compared to the overall monthly expenditure on vehicles running on compressed natural gas (CNG), he added.
The Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz government has proposed that duties on hybrid cars be reduced in an effort to tackle growing demand for expensive petrol and CNG.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 18th, 2013.
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