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Electric bikes importer seeks exemption from duty, taxes

Electric bikes importer seeks exemption from duty, taxes

KARACHI: The National Tariff Commission (NTC) will analyse the request of an electric bikes importer which is seeking exemption of duty and taxes on their import.

The NTC has asked assemblers of Chinese bikes to look into the matter in a fair and transparent manner and give their feedback on the request of the e-bike importer, TAZ Trading.

The e-bike, introduced in Pakistan in November last year, runs on rechargeable batteries and, according to the importer, reduces running cost by 90 per cent.

However, because of high import duties and taxes — 65pc customs duty, 17pc sales tax, 3pc value-added tax and 6pc income tax — prices of the e-bike’s three models hover between Rs90,900 and Rs104,900, which is double the price of petrol engine bikes.

TAZ Trading CEO Athar Ahmed Khan told Dawn the bike had the potential to halve the country’s automobile petrol consumption which currently stands at around $5 billion a year, in which the bikes share is around $2.5bn.

He said the government had allowed exemption of customs duty and taxes at variable slabs on environmental-friendly vehicles under SRO 567(I) 2014. “We are seeking the same concessions on import of electric bikes. And if it happens, its price will come down significantly,” he added.

Electric vehicles are being encouraged all over the world. In China, gas motorcycles are banned in many cities while India, Turkey, Norway, the Netherlands, UK and the US provide fiscal incentives of up to 70pc on the base price of electric vehicles.

“We have received good response of our bikes in the past year from individual buyers as well as from various companies,” Ahmed said.

“Monthly running cost of the e-bike, which is under 50cc and can go as fast as 60 kilometres per hour, is Rs200-300 as compared to Rs3,000 of a bike that runs on petrol,” he said, adding that there is also no requirement of bikes registration or licence to drive.

The e-bike is accelerated by a 1,200-watt electric motor, powered by a battery that costs Rs15,000 and gives around 40,000km in a lifetime.

Mohammad Sabir Shaikh, the chairman of Association of Pakistan Motorcycle Assemblers (APMA), said that giving exemption of duties and taxes on the import of electric bikes would not hurt the industry as it does not produce these bikes at present.

Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2015

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