Barvida for reevaluating draft automobile policy

Top officials of Bangladesh Reconditioned Vehicles Importers and Dealers Association (Barvida) address the media at a briefing in the capital on Saturday, September 19, 2020

The existing industrial policy of the country was not properly followed while drafting the proposed policy

The Bangladesh Reconditioned Vehicles Importers and Dealers Association (Barvida) on Saturday urged the government to reevaluate the proposed Automobile Policy-2020 as it contradicted the existing industrial policy.

“The draft policy will destroy competition between the importers of reconditioned and brand-new cars,” said Abdul Haque, president of the association, in a press conference at the Economic Reporters Forum auditorium.

The existing industrial policy of the country was not properly followed while drafting the policy. The draft automobile policy contradicts the existing industrial policy in several aspects, the Barvida president said in his written speech.

In his speech, he also mentioned that the country has a special need for a realistic, balanced, forward looking and implementable policy for the automobile industry at a time when the country has been graduating to a developing middle income country.

“The aim of the policy should focus on protecting the interests of the citizens and consumers at the highest level by creating the opportunities of employment and investment and establishing a competitive car industry. Initiatives need to be taken to establish the technology driven industries to produce global standard cars in the country,” he added.

According to the proposed automobile policy-2020, imports of reconditioned cars would be phased out over the next five years in a bid to encourage investments in the local car manufacturing companies.

The draft also mentioned that it would be possible to establish a new car manufacturing industry if there were at least 100,000 pieces in production annually, but on average, 20,000 vehicles are sold in the country every year, Haque remarked.

Barvida’s Secretary General Md Shahidul Islam said that the ban on the import of reconditioned cars would be a suicidal step for the government as it earns nearly Tk,5000 crore in revenue from import duties.

The government should create a competitive market for the buying and selling of new and reconditioned cars in consideration of the clients, he also said.

Over the past three years, about Tk20,000 crore has been invested in the sector and nearly 50,000 employments have been created as well, said the secretary general.

Reconditioned cars comply with the “Euro 6” emission standards, but most of the brand new cars available in the country do not, he added.

From July to March of 2019-20 fiscal year, 8,040 units of reconditioned cars were imported while the government earned Tk1,026.33 crore in revenue from import duties, according to Barvida statistics.

Former Barvida president Md Habib Ullah Dawn and other members of the association were also present in the press conference.

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