The ministry of international trade and industry (MITI) says it will be taking steps to address the issue of delayed vehicle price approvals, which has been affecting car companies in Malaysia since last year, The Star reports.

One of the steps is to increase the frequency of the monthly meetings held by the Automotive Business Development Committee (ABDC) – which is chaired by MITI – from once to twice a month. This, according to deputy minister of international trade and industry Ong Kian Ming, will help reduce the time needed to process automotive incentive applications. He said the dates have already been identified and it will be circulated to members of the automotive industry.

Ong said that MITI will also come up with an enhanced process flow and client charter of ABDC to ensure that there is greater clarity in the process of evaluating incentive applications. As part of this, the cost and benefit analysis (CBA) for energy efficient vehicle (EEV) customised incentive applications are set to be reviewed to ensure a fair and equitable evaluation process.

He said that the CBA for the Industrial Linkage Programme (ILP), which is done by the Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) needed to be more transparent and detailed than it is now. He added that it also needed to be updated to take into account new conditions in the car manufacturing and automotive sector.

“It’s a process of refining and updating the CBA. We want to make it as clear as possible to the industry players, so that the ABDC process can be sped up, and the issues that have been raised by MAA in terms of delays that had occurred last year will be minimised, moving forward,” Ong said.

He explained that it will take about two days to process and approve the ILP at the ABDC stage before a letter is sent to the finance ministry, which can then decide on the level of excise tax that can be adjusted or reduced. As for customised incentives, he said it will take about a week.

Previously, Ong had stressed the importance of the ILP and why it has to go through the ABDC, stating that if car manufacturers want to obtain a higher exemption on excise tax, MITI will want to know what they can bring into the economy in terms of manufacturing activities as well as energy efficient/saving technology.

The purpose of the ABDC is to evaluate and recommend the ILP, Multi Sourcing Parts (MSP) and customised incentives for EEVs under the National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2014. The recommendations by ABDC are for the consideration of the finance ministry when it comes to deciding the amount of duty reduction that will be extended to the vehicle companies.

The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) said it hoped that the request for incentives to get pricing approvals will be sped up in the future. Last week, MAA president Datuk Aishah Ahmad said that the finance ministry had been delaying approvals for new car pricing applications, even after the ABDC had decided on the incentives.