P4 auto industry appre_optSTAFF REPORT KHI: The business community welcomed the governments decision to exempt hybrid cars from taxes, saying it would lead to a trimmed oil import bill besides promoting pollution-free environment in the country.

“Not only will the decision reduce Pakistans oil import bill, but will also be a positive step towards improving the environment,” remarked a senior official of a leading car manufacturing company while on Monday.

He said import of hybrid cars would also help control omission of carbon-monoxide gases which posed serious threats to the environment the world over, causing drought and flash floods.

He said currently about 12.5 million vehicles were running in the country which are extensively polluting air, depriving people of a neat and clean environment.

He further said 80 percent of global environmental changes are due to auto-mobile pollution and introduction of hybrid cars will reduce fossil fuel reliance.

He said his company so far had sold more than five million hybrid vehicles since its launch and countries like India, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia are already importing these high-tech cars.

He said Toyota manufacturers are to import some hybrid vehicles to fulfil domestic requirements and the company will provide guarantee for up to two years or 50,000 km to facilitate its clients.

The use of hybrid cars has reported 50 percent reduction in fuel consumption and expenses compared to overall monthly expenditure of vehicles running on CNG, he added.

Hybrid cars up to 1200 cc are fully exempted from import duty, sales and income tax. Similarly, those from 1,201 to 1,800 cc are exempted of 50 percent duty and those from 1,801 to 2,500 cc are given a 25 percent waiver in duties per the new budget.

PML-N government proposed it would reduce duties on the import of hybrid cars for tackling the issue of growing demand of petrol and CNG.

As far as benefits to small car owners are concerned, unfortunately, there are no hybrid cars available in the market under 1,200 cc, which will make no effect on the worsening situation of CNG and fuel demand.

Currently, with deteriorating fuel situation in the country, import of hybrid cars is the best injection that can start a chain reaction to improve health of the environment in the country.

More than 50 percent of private vehicles run on CNG, which is not available for 3 days a week. Even if half of the personal vehicles on the road are shifted towards petrol, the gas load shedding schedule may come to an end, saving enough gas for the industries.

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