LCCI Seeks Cut in Tax on Hybrid Cars' Import

[2013-05-23 10:25:49]

The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has demanded of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to immediately announce a cut in tax on the import of hybrid cars to reduce load on CNG, help government cope with energy crisis and galloping oil import bill.

The LCCI office-bearers; President Farooq Iftikhar, Senior Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh and Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad in their joints statement said that the FBR should encourage the domestic assemblers to switch to hybrid technology in view of increasing oil bill. They stressed the need for forcing domestic assemblers to bring highly fuel efficient hybrid technology in the country with a view to cut oil imports and carbon emissions. Hybrid cars are almost twice as much efficient compared with non-hybrid cars, saving at least 40 percent fuel costs.

"The only other way of cutting fuel costs and reducing carbon emissions in the environment is conversion of all vehicles on CNG. That is neither feasible nor desirable because of depleting gas reserves and high cost of imported gas," they said. The LCCI office-bearers said that if existing assemblers are unwilling to convert to hybrid technology, the government should give incentives to new investors intending to set up hybrid car manufacturing facility. The decision to promote hybrid vehicles in Pakistan can greatly help address the energy crisis as Toyota Prius delivers more mileage than a Suzuki Mehran on CNG does. Toyota Prius typically gives 25-27 km/litre on petrol and Toyota Aqua (also known as Prius C) gives average fuel efficiency of 35 km/litre.

In spite of their high prices, imported hybrid electric cars are becoming quite popular among users in Pakistan for the last several months because of their fuel efficiency. Almost 2,100 new and old units of Toyota Prius were imported during November 2011 and October 2012.

Over 1,140 Toyota Prius were imported during the first four months of the current fiscal year to October 2012 alone compared with less than thousand units brought before the end of the last financial year. The government has already exempted Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) from customs duty, sales tax and withholding tax, which are in excess of 75 percent of the applicable tax rates under SRO 607 (I)/2012.
Source: Business Recorder
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