Printer Friendly

The yellow cab fiasco.

This jugglery of figures apart, the fact remains that the Yellow Cab Scheme has definitely run into snags and the dead end has been reached. The tactics of the exploiters among us who have (reportedly) made it a regular business to invest Rs. 15000 via initial payment, take delivery of the vehicle and make earnings out of it till the time of repayment begins, when they make over the vehicle to the dealers, regretting their inability to pay the installments, which means without incurring any liability, they have had a net earning of Rs. 50,000 or so.

Perhaps Mr. Nawaz Sharif, whether in power or out of it loves playing big gambles; or flinging surprises on the general public and causing sensation in the fashion of a stuntman engaged by movie-makers to jump down from the top of the Eifel Tower in France or the Empire State Building in New York. Mian Nawaz Sharif believes in staging acrobatics to the enjoyment of the onlookers and drawing applause from the beneficiaries of his antics. He is an intelligent man, a shrewd politician too whose hand is usually on the pulse of the people and to say the least, is an industrialist by profession.

Politically speaking, although he had been returned to power after a "thumping victory" at the ballot box in the 1990 elections, the wrath of the opposition in the country coupled with antagonism of the outgoing Head of State, pulled him down before he could complete his stipulated term of five years ending in 1995 some two years from now.

Somehow or other, Nawaz Sharif posing as the friend of the people, in particular the underdog, in his tenure of office did embark-on ventures that went in some way to ameliorating the common man's lot although dissidents and critics have to tell a different tale. He, however, is a controversial figure and so is the latest weapon in his armoury, viz. the Yellow Cab Public Transport Scheme which he professedly introduced for the benefit of the country's educated unemployed who of all the persons have been left out as the opportunity has largely been availed of by the country's well-to-do classes who managed to add yellow cabs to their existing caravan of cars and are enjoying at the expense of the state exchequer or the poor tax-payers; or in the present case the country' banking and financing institutions. In addition to the well-to-dos, the refractory elements in the society also exploited the scheme to their unfair advantage which means the fate of Nawaz Sharif's brain-child is in the doldrums as at present.

The wisdom of launching such a scheme in a country like ours has been in doubt from the very outset as our people are so prone as to exploit loopholes in the scheme or schemes thus floated and leave the deserving, among us, out. The Banks in the country at the instance of Mr. Nawaz Sharif, while in office, offered loan facilities to the tune of Rs. 28 billion and they have reportedly to fulfil commitments of another 13 billion rupees to the applicants under the scheme. As per reports circulating in the Banking circles, the Federal Government intend to cancel all those orders against which the suppliers have failed to make deliveries.

As such Scheme has had a rough sailing, the State Bank of Pakistan according to Press reports has instructed just recently all the nationalised banks not to open letters of credit for import of duty-free vehicles under the Nawaz Sharif Scheme.

Bankers consider the SBP directive issued recently as a formal signal to terminate the scheme which has so far claimed more than Rs. 15 billion loans from the four nationalised banks viz. Habib Bank, the United Bank, the National Bank of Pakistan, and the First Women's Bank, with the little or no chance of full recovery.

It will be recalled that under the Yellow Cab and Public Transport Scheme, the four nationalised banks (mentioned above) received applications for about 120 thousand vehicles requiring total financing of Rs. 33 billion. Of this total demand, the four banks reportedly have disbursed Rs 28 billion, and were having Rs. 13 billion loan demand orders for which deliveries were not made.

Alarming reports coming from Islamabad have Ministry of Finance sources as saying that there is no money for further import of vehicles under public transport scheme and the government was getting very upset about the fact that the country was burdened with another 500 U.S. dollars import of yellow cabs within the past few months.

These sources added that the total amount spent on the import of vehicles under the public transport scheme is estimated to be 1000 million U.S. dollars adding that till the end of June 1993, cabs worth 500 million dollars were imported.

It is learnt on good authority that Government is contemplating steps to reduce the level of imports as it anticipated 500 million dollars shortfall in foreign remittances owing to drastic cuts in import duty for cars in which consequence within 20 days of the announcement of the Federal budget this year over 1000 cars were booked under "personal baggage rules" and "gift schemes" which was likely to reduce the remittances from 1.5 billion dollars to one billion dollars.

This jugglery of figures apart, the fact remains that the Yellow Cab Scheme has definitely run into snags and the dead end has been reached. The tactics of the exploiters among us who have (reportedly) made it a regular business to invest Rs. 15000 via initial payment, take delivery of the vehicle and make earnings out of it till the time of repayment begins, when they make over the vehicle to the dealers, regretting their inability to pay the installments, which means without incurring any liability, they have had a net earning of Rs. 50,000 or so.

So much for the financial and administrative side of the Yellow Cab Scheme introduced by the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Nawaz Sharif, there is the users angle also. They say that the Yellow Cab drivers too at times use unfair tactics in that they normally do not refuse like the black taxi wallas but they do not switch on their air-conditioners, although they charge Rs. 5/- per k.m. as compared to Rs. 3.5 per k.m. charged by the black taxi-wallas of without A.C. Reports have it that the Yellow Cabmen do remove air-conditioners from the taxi's and make extra money by selling the A.C. for something like Rs. 18,000 rupees or so. This is an additional malpractice indulged in by the yellow cabmen which has to be checked by the authorities to keep the scheme going.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Economic and Industrial Publications
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Yellow Cab Public Transport Scheme
Author:Ali, Syed Abid
Publication:Economic Review
Date:Jul 1, 1993
Words:1124
Previous Article:Common man in caretakers' trap.
Next Article:Rural development in Pakistan.
Topics:

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters