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Used tractors’ import to ‘destroy’ local industry

Used tractors’ import to ‘destroy’ local industry

KARACHI: The government’s decision to allow the import of five years old tractors will spell disaster in local manufacturing as well as in the vending units which are already struggling to survive, auto sector stakeholders feared.

A local tractor assembler said that the decision appears highly surprising given the persistent foreign exchange crisis that leads to restrictions on the opening of letters of credit causing parts shortages due to non-clearance of containers stuck-up at ports.

“From where the finances will be managed to import used tractors when the country’s foreign exchange reserves are depleting fast and the government is already discouraging imports,” he said.

The government, he added, is now pushing the local industry to another challenge which would further hit local production/sales, rendering thousands of people jobless.

Pakistan Association of Auto parts and Accessories Manufacturers chairman Munir K. Bana said the government is not allowing the import of raw materials due to an alarming drop in foreign currency reserves but it is planning to drain these reserves recklessly, by importing junk second-hand tractors. The current tractor manufacturing is already on a partial shutdown. He said the import of used tractors would be of no benefit to the farmers as they would be more expensive than locally produced new tractors.

Used imported tractors would also enhance the fuel bills of the farmers as old imported machines cannot be expected to be fuel efficient, he said.

Published in Dawn, January 22nd, 2023

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