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|January 19, 1998||
Pak auto parts body chief backs govt in feud with Suzuki
The president of the Pakistan Auto Parts and Accessories Manufacturers Association, Feroz Khan, today supported the Indian government's stand in the battle with Suzuki for control of Maruti Udyog Limited.
''Don't let them take away the whole thing'', Khan said at the ongoing Auto Expo '98 in New Delhi on Saturday.
Equity participation of foreign auto companies should be curtailed whether they are operating from India or Pakistan, he said.
Toyota in Pakistan has 25 per cent equity while 75 per cent is local. Honda has 75 per cent Japanese control while only 25 per cent is local. The Corolla and Civic made in Pakistan have local component contents of 27 per cent. He hoped that the local content by 2000 will be 47 per cent. ''Pakistan," he said, "will see a quick indigenisation of its cars. In India, the consumer pays Rs 16,000 more for small cars because of the levies.
Khan also lauded India for achieving ''colonial freedom'' with the launch of the fully indigenised small car from the Tatas.
India and Pakistan have much to gain mutually, especially from joint ventures in auto parts such as gears, transmission boxes, and fuel engines. A venture nver killed anybody, Khan stressed.
Giving an overview of the current scenario in his country, he said, ''The mass transport system of both countries are in a total mess. Although Delhi is worse in terms of pollution than Lahore, the traffic in Lahore is more chaotic.''
The corporates should be more responsible for it. ''If cars are built there has to be infrastructure too,'' he pointed out.
Pakistan, unlike India, has not woken up to the realities of pollution and alternative energy vehicles, Khan added.
He pointed out that there is now a motorway between Lahore and Islamabad which has reduced the journey time to three hours against the previous six hours.
Pakistan is also making 15,000 to 18,000 tractors each year with an indigenisation level of 80 per cent.
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