The Government of Pakistan has decided to dissolve the Engineering Development Board (EDB). In its place, it has assigned Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) to regulate the country’s auto sector, particular for four-wheeled vehicles, and to enforce safety standards.
The responsibility of monitoring automobiles’ quality in Pakistan, was previously assigned to the EDB. The body was also responsible to keep in check four-wheelers, certifying whether the cars were following the required standards for safety and fitness or not.
It was dissolved by the government because it was not functioning or promoting its activities, and was also involved in some corrupt practices. Reportedly, it was normal for the employed staff to exploit the organisation’s easy-going methodology for business purposes.
As things have changed, this responsibility has been shifted to the PSQCA. Previously, the authority was only responsible for monitoring two or three-wheel vehicles. Now it will also issue certificates to cars, SUV’s, and other similar vehicles.
The newly-assigned authority has already set up office, and has unveiled new standards for the auto sector. PSQCA has employed some industry experts and will soon enforce its rules on vehicle manufacturers so that their products are in line with the new safety and fitness requirements.
PSQCA works directly under the Ministry of Science and Technology. However, according to sources within the ministry, the authority does not have the expertise to handle this task, and is not capable of defining its own standards. A spokesperson from the ministry, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, remarked:
The standard made by the PSQCA recently is no more than a copy paste of standards existing in other countries. How an organisation, which lacks experts, machinery, testing facilities, laboratory and research facilities, can supervise the manufacturing of a modern car?
Another informed source from the ministry added,
PSQCA does nothing but issuance of the stickers pasted on every new product including motorcycle, rickshaws, fans etc. The officials and staff of the organisation obtain kickbacks and bribes for a no objection certificate (NoC) and clearance of mandatory items,
Reports say that just like EDB, PSQCA itself has been accused for being involved in malpractices. The government ministry has also been under FIA’s radar for indulging in corruption. Sources claim that both PSQCA and EDB have no testing facility to properly check and monitor vehicles that are produced by local companies.