FBR investigating under-invoicing by auto firm



Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Ashfaq Ahmed informed a parliamentary panel on Wednesday that the process of verifying under-invoicing by an auto company was underway.

Speaking during a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), committee member Khawaja Asif alleged that the automobile firm imported 10,000 completely built units (CBUs) through under-invoicing, but no action had been taken against it so far.

Responding to the allegation, the FBR chairman said that the Chinese government certified the claims of the carmaker, however, the manufacturers did not testify.

“We cleared 2,000 units of the company provisionally, which have been parked at the port for the past eight months, and verification is still underway,” he added.

Asif said that car manufacturers were a powerful lobby and they had a huge involvement in politics. He lamented that the government was not discouraging the import of luxury vehicles.

The Ministry of Industries and Production has convened a meeting with the auto vendors on Thursday to seek justification for the sudden increase in prices of cars and SUVs. A monitoring committee, constituted under the Automotive Industry Development Policy and headed by the industries and production secretary, has scheduled a meeting with representatives of the auto manufacturers to discuss the increase in cost of production.

The meeting will talk about the hike in international freight charges and shortage of chips as well, the industries secretary informed PAC.

The Engineering Development Board (EDB) chief executive officer briefed members of the committee on various incentives offered to the greenfield investors in the auto sector under the Automotive Industry Development Policy.

Committee members asked officials of the Ministry of Industries about the non-implementation of automobile industry deletion programme to sell vehicles at affordable prices.

The committee chairman expressed his displeasure over the failure of auto companies to introduce various standards in the locally produced vehicles.

“Prices of cars, delays in delivery of vehicles and incidents of own money on sales of new cars are increasing,” he said.

The EDB CEO said that international standards would be implemented in a phased manner and 15 standards would become mandatory after July 2022.

He said that the new automobile policy had guaranteed incentives for localisation, which would help boost the export of vehicles.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2022.

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