KARACHI: The amnesty scheme for smuggled vehicles is an erroneous precedent, but it will not directly affect sale of new cars in Pakistan, Parvez Ghias, Chief Executive of Indus Motor Company said.
The Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) intends to register as many non-custom paid vehicles (NCP) as it can before March 31, 2013, after which the government will take action against all unregistered vehicles in Pakistan. Now that the three-week deadline is going to end in two days, there was widespread speculation that the FBR will extend this deadline by a few more weeks.
“There are people who want to extend the amnesty scheme for smuggled vehicles despite the fact that the scheme was launched at the expense of law-abiding citizens who pay full taxes on their vehicles,” Ghias said on Thursday, while talking to group of journalists at Indus Motors’ head office.
Although local car assemblers have reservations on the amnesty scheme, their bigger fear is the extension of this scheme, as it will result in higher influx of smuggled cars especially the Toyota Vitz and other smaller engine cars.
FBR believes that the scheme will generate revenue of billions of rupees and also register a significant number of around 2.3 million unregistered vehicles plying on the country roads.
FBR officials say that the amnesty scheme is in the national interest and under directives of the Supreme Court, which had been urging government to register undocumented vehicles in the country.
Both car assemblers and car importers criticised the FBR’s decision on amnesty scheme saying that it will encourage car smuggling into the country especially through the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th, 2013.
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