New NAP to be unveiled by year end, includes excise duty review — minister

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on August 16, 2018.
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KUALA LUMPUR: International Trade and Industry Minister Ignatius Darell Leiking said yesterday Putrajaya is still drafting the next National Automotive Policy (NAP), which it expects to unveil by year end.

Leiking said in Parliament his ministry will work with the ministry of finance (MoF) to review the excise duty for imported cars.

“We are still working on a new policy, coming up with the new NAP, which the ministry will be announcing by the end of this year. The new policy would include the outcome of the discussion between the MoF and us on reviewing the excise [duty], if needed,” he added.

For now, Leiking said the government is maintaining the excise duty for imported cars in accordance with the current NAP. Excise duty reduction is now only offered to cars assembled locally, or complete knock-down vehicles, to increase the industry’s competitiveness.

Leiking was responding to Datuk Rozman Isli (Barisan Nasional-Labuan), who earlier asked the international trade and industry ministry to state if the third national car project will proceed, and if the ministry will still reduce the excise duty for imported cars in the first category with engine capacity below 1,600cc.

In response, Leiking said the project is still in the proposal stage, and that if it materialises, will be driven by the private sector, as previously stated by the MoF.

Leiking also said the third national car project does not contravene the government’s policy to reduce traffic congestion in the country.

Bernama had reported him as saying this is because the government would also continue with its plan to provide a more efficient public transportation system.

“I am confident that through the formulation of new policies and the implementation of an efficient public transportation system, the people will choose to use public transport,” he was quoted.

He was replying to a supplemental question by Rozman about the third national car project, deemed in contravention of the government’s policy to reduce traffic congestion in major urban areas.

The news agency wrote that if the project goes ahead, various incentives, including tax incentive, would be given to operators involved, in accordance with the new NAP.