A lobby is there who say that substantial reduction of duty on the import of new cars could mean import of new cars of good quality from destinations such as Japan, Italy or Malaysia. at the cost of the reconditioned ones. Thus, greater consumer value would be obtained . The import of new cars would lead to greater cost efficiency in fuel consumption and the step would be environment friendly. Particularly, they reject the view that consumers would have no choice but to import new cars of dubious standard from India under the changed conditions. Rather, it is thought that consumers would have a choice of new cars at affordable prices from other countries with a tradition of quality car manufacturing.
While these views are the not to be entirely disregarded , the importers of reconditioned cars also have strong points in their favour. They say that the oft-cited environmental objections to reconditioned cars are not justifiable because reconditioned vehicles from Japan hardly pollute and that everybody knows who the major polluters actually are : three wheelers of the old type, buses and trucks. They do also underline that even a gradual ban or discouragement of reconditioned cars through official policies will lead to shutters coming down on about 200 showrooms where these cars are displayed and sold. The recovery of bank loans to the tune of some Taka 20 billion of these owners of show rooms would become uncertain and an estimated 0.1 million families involved in the distribution, repair and marketing of spare parts could be distressed. Besides, as the reconditioned cars importers' lobby maintain, they are also engaged in manpower trade with Japan through their business and the same opportunities would be lost alongwith the remittances from Japan.
This writer does not underestimate the outlook of the policy makers in respect of enabling the consumers to get the full benefits of using new cars. But it is not certain whether the government would be able to sustain its claim that slashing down of duty on new cars will mean that the prices of new cars in most cases would be the same as reconditioned ones. Furthermore, the bringing down of the curtains all on a sudden on a long standing business with negative implications of the same on a whole range of businessmen, suppliers, service providers and others, their loss of income and the possibility of a huge amount bank loans turning classified in the process, indicate the necessity of not implementing such policies.
Experience indicates that any discouragement of the import of reconditioned cars would lead to mainly import of new cars from India. But such Indian cars on the roads of Bangladesh proved to be a great failure. Reportedly, thousands of recently imported new Indian cars are already in dilapidated conditions and are hardly fit to be regarded as worthy of plying on roads to any satisfaction.