ICCI Demands To Withdraw Duties On Solar Energy Sector

ICCI demands to withdraw duties on solar energy sector

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 25th Jan, 2022 ) :President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Muhammad Shakeel Munir on Monday demanded of the government to urgently withdraw duties on the solar energy sector to facilitate its growth.

Pakistan generated about 60% of its electricity from thermal sources of which imported oil had the largest share, he said.

The president ICCI expressed these views while addressing a press conference at ICCI along with the Office Bearers of Pakistan Solar Association and Renewable Energy Association on the issue of levy of sales tax on solar sector.

The government has set a target of increasing the share of renewable energy in total energy mix up to 30 per cent by 2030.

Shakeel Munir said that "Rising oil prices in the global market multiplies the cost of our electricity and the production cost, making it more difficult for our exporters to compete in the global market," he said.

He said that due to which domestic and foreign investment in this solar energy sector was growing but the imposition of high sales tax through mini budget would be a major blow to the investors of solar sector.

He said that the large population of Pakistan was without electricity and solar energy was the best option to provide electricity to off-grid areas.

The ICCI president said that over 1600 MW of solar equipment was imported in Pakistan in 2021 out of which about 130 to 160 MW were net metering solar systems.

He said that the farmers had installed solar tube wells to irrigate their lands while solar panels were installed on the rooftops of houses and shops in rural areas to meet the electricity needs.

However, the levy of sales tax by the government will discourage them all.

He observed that due to this situation hundreds of containers of shipments were stranded which was causing loss to the business community of the solar sector.

He said that this move would also jeopardize the Prime Minister's objective of Clean Pakistan, therefore he stressed upon all the concerned government officials to take urgent notice of this matter.

He emphasized that sales tax on the solar sector should be withdrawn immediately to promote the PM's vision of Green Pakistan and the wider interest of the country and the nation for the generation of green energy.

Muhammad Faheem Khan Vice President ICCI, Khalid Chaudhry former Senior Vice President ICCI, Amir Hussain and Faheem Ashraf representatives of Pakistan Solar Association and Renewable Energy Association said that about one million tubes wells were operating in Pakistan and many of them have shifted to solar energy, but the levy of tax will increase problems of farmers and affect agricultural productivity.

They said that many industries had also shifted to solar energy and ST would increase their production cost and many people would be rendered jobless.

However, the imposition of over 21 per cent cumulative sales tax on solar equipment would not only make it difficult for the government to achieve its target but also badly affect the growth of renewable energy sector which will be detrimental to the economy.