Islamabad: The Pakistan government is set to introduce around 100,000 cars, vans, vehicles and small trucks in the market under a five-year midterm plan from 2020.

A target has been set to convert 90 per cent of vehicles to electric by 2040.

According to Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam, the government is seriously taking measures against pollution as emissions from the vehicles continue to be one of the largest contributors to air pollution.

Aslam said policy on electric vehicles to tackle air pollution will be announced soon.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved the concept and policy consultation with key stakeholders is in the process, which will be presenting in the cabinet in a couple of weeks, Aslam said.

Addressing a seminar on ‘World Environment Day 2019: Air Pollution’, organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Aslam said electric vehicles will solve many of the issues including air pollution, reduce fuel import bill and save about two-thirds cost of transportation.

Around Rs8 billion has been allocated in this budget for the 10 billion tree tsunami programme, where provinces will share equal amount to help tackle climate change and air pollution.

Aslam said air pollution and climate change is taking a toll on Pakistan’s economic and social front. “However, there is now realisation among the economic gurus of the country that climate change and air pollution has economic and social cost. Pakistan needs to change its thinking toward economy and show strong political commitment towards these serious issues of climate change and air pollution, he remarked. The challenge for us is lack of authentic data on air pollution. For that, the government is in the process of setting up around 10 air monitoring stations across Pakistan to get updated and authentic data,” he added.

Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, executive director SDPI, said climate change and air pollution is hampering the nation’s economy and well-being of the society. “Owing to unpredictable environmental extreme events, Pakistan has done very badly in agriculture sector this year, where air pollution is one of the major causes of poor growth,” he said.