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For many weeks, industry leaders have been huddling with policy makers in government to try and chalk out an increasingly elusive ‘win-win’ situation as the basis of a new Automobile Industry Development Programme (AIDP). The process has been tedious, with the government swayed by the powerful lobbying of car importers. No policy has come forth as yet and uncertainty is rife.
There are rifts within the industry as well. The Pakistan Association Of Automotive Parts And Assemblers (PAAPAM) is against liberalising trade with India, given that greater imports of cheaper parts from India is more likely to occur, rather than of built-up cars, thereby eating into profits of local parts makers. The case for free trade with India is led by the current market leader Pak Suzuki which seeks to benefit directly by importing parts from an equally large Maruti-Suzuki in India. PAAPAM fears this will put its 400,000 workers and a multi-million rupee industry into irreversible peril.