Views from all overThe Nada Auto Show kicked off at Bhrikuti Mandap on Tuesday bringing together dealers of automobiles, spare parts and accessories and financial institutions in a bid to promote the overall domestic automobile market.
The Nada Auto Show kicked off at Bhrikuti Mandap on Tuesday bringing together dealers of automobiles, spare parts and accessories and financial institutions in a bid to promote the overall domestic automobile market. The Kathmandu Post organised a round-table on the occasion of the mega automobile event held by the Nepal Automobile Dealers’ Association (Nada). Traders and bankers expressed hope that the auto show would trigger a rebound in the auto market that has been knocked down by the April 25 earthquake and Tarai unrest. Excerpts.
Immediate Past President, Nada
The political change that the country is heading towards is a very important phase. But we are in dilemma as we do not have much influence over this process. Economic activities are equally important along with politics. The country can achieve nothing in the absence of economic activity. So we have decided to continue the auto show to increase economic activity and spread a positive message among the people.
Talking about the auto sector, the government which used to increase the import duty on automobiles every year has not done so for two years, which is a good sign for the auto sector. We take it as a positive initiative of the government. This shows that the government is also taking this sector positively for the country’s economic development. The government has planned to expand the road network and build flyovers through the budget, but the main thing we are looking forward to seeing is their implementation. The next important thing is the ATA carnet for traders like us to showcase our new products. It would be easy to bring concept vehicles for the show if the country became a member of the ATA carnet.
Damodar Prasad Regmi
Deputy Director General, Customs Department
The customs office is heading towards modernization from its traditional style. Many things have been changed so far. Revenue collection is our third responsibility while the first priority is providing service. Next, membership in the ATA carnet has been under discussion for a year. We have already stopped allowing goods through the green channel, and we are going for the process of post-clearance. A one-door policy will also be implemented within three years.
Around 35 percent of the total revenue comes from the auto and transportation sectors which has been greatly helping the economy besides the development of basic infrastructure. So the customs office never sees the auto sector through a negative eye. But there are some problems if we look at it from the perspective of the general public. Most of the automobiles are targeted at private users and are concentrated in urban areas. So priority should be given to rural areas and public transportation.
Coordinator, Nada Auto Show
The main theme of the expo is to increase economic activities. We also desire that this show be able to increase the confidence of consumers and traders though branding and promotional activities. We decided to conduct the auto show after a long discussion as we all agreed that this show would be fruitful for the nation. The Nada Auto show is one of the greatest shows accompanied by glamour and happiness. This year’s show is the largest in terms of participants and the venue. We received 100 percent bookings from exhibitors within two days. As the major auto market is Kathmandu which accounts for 70-75 percent of total sales, we are pretty much excited about this event.
General Secretary, Nada
Although the government has announced providing a 50 discount on the import duty on buses with more than 40 seats, the provision has not been implemented. We just heard that this was a very lengthy process and that there were various conditions set by the government which would make it difficult to get the discount. The automobile sector is the largest revenue contributor, but the government doesn’t care about expanding the market. The government has raised the road reform tax to 5 percent from 2 percent. The government does not spend money in the same way it collects taxes. Similarly, banks and financial institutions are also reluctant to provide auto loans for commercial vehicles.
The main aim of the expo is to change the negative mindset of the people towards the auto sector. The development of the country won’t be possible without transportation. Better roads are required for the development of tourism, hydro projects and agriculture. After road expansion, the means of transportation is also important. Only 6 percent of the total population own two-wheelers, while 0.6 percent of the people own four-wheelers. The lubricant industry is one of the industries that has been doing well. The country is on the road to self-reliance in lubricants. A total of 10 lubricant factories are presently in operation. This is a positive sign for the development of auxiliary products for automobiles at a time when the government has been talking about assembling motor vehicles in the country.
Executive Director, CG MotoCorp
This auto show is like Dashain and Tihar for traders like us. Around 40 percent of the total sales and bookings happen during this time. Usually, bookings are converted into sales within three months of the show. We have launched various schemes and offers along with new vehicles at the auto show. We are excited about participating in this event. The show must be continued in the coming years.
Nada has been taking the initiative to develop the auto and banking sectors which is commendable. We are helping the customers who come to purchase automobiles at the show by providing auto loans at special rates. We guarantee that we provide loans within a single day for the convenience of customers.
The auto show is always held during the festival season which is a very positive thing. Transactions increase significantly during this time. Banks also provide their best offers during the show. We are also offering auto loans at minimum interest rates.
We see the Nada Auto Show as a festival because this helps expand and broaden the auto sector. Coming to the 10th edition of the auto show, the event has been playing a very important role in business. The auto show has added the business of two-four months in a year. So, we are committed to running the show whatever the political situation is in the country. Despite the fact that there is lack of a proper venue, we have managed to increase the area of the fair compared to last year. We want to urge the government to make a proper exhibition hall having enough space to showcase a wide range of vehicles. We are ready to work under a public-private-partnership (PPP) model. On the other hand, the government should also give greater priority to road expansion as the number of vehicles is increasing. The Kathmandu Valley should be developed as a metro city.
Instead of focusing on the age of a vehicle, priority should be given to its fitness. Although the government has opened a fitness centre, it has not become operational. We are also ready to support the operation of the fitness centre. So the government should make the fitness centre operational soon. Due to the open border, unofficial imports of auto parts are rampant. Nada has been continuously requesting the government to slash the customs duty to curb the smuggling of auto parts. Instead, the government has raised the duty further. So we urge it to slash the customs duty on auto parts.
On the other hand, the government has been talking about assembling vehicles in the country. As the market for four-wheelers is very small, the government should help to expand the market further by reducing customs duty. There should be economic development and tax cuts to expand the market. We urge the government to bring a 10-year policy for the development of the sector so that we can start assembling four-wheelers here.
Standard Chartered Bank Nepal
Banks and financial institutions also aim to conduct more transactions during the show. Auto dealers are offering various schemes and we are offering auto loans at the lowest interest rates. So this event is always fruitful for consumers, auto traders and banks.