LAHORE: The business community has demanded the withdrawal of 17 per cent general sales tax on solar energy equipment, a statement said on Friday.
“Federal Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has promised withdrawing the proposal of imposing tax on solar equipment. But the situation is otherwise that has also hurt the credibility of [the] finance minister,” Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) president Mian Nauman Kabir said.
“Imposition of tax will damage the efforts of promoting alternative energy sources in the country,” he added.
Flanked by the LCCI office bearers and representatives of the Pakistan Solar Association, he said that the decision was contrary to the objectives of Alternate and Renewable Energy Policy.
“[The] world is setting targets for a zero-carbon economy, supporting the trade of green products and imposing penalties on the high carbon sector. Imposition of tax on solar energy equipment is not a good idea,” Kabir said.
Solar energy would be costly due to the increased taxes, he said, while demanding the tax withdrawal in the larger national interest.
LCCI senior vice president Mian Rehman Aziz Chan said that there was a dire need of promoting alternative energy sources to control the high import bill, noting that the solar equipment was imported once which could generate energy for 25 years.
He said that this decision was against the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, adding that the thermal means of power generation were not environment friendly.
The Pakistan Solar Association representatives said that the solar and wind power plants were the only solution in the wake of rising prices of electricity, gas and petrol along with the increasing environmental pollution.
The fossil fuel based power plants required costly imported diesel and oil, while the installation of the solar system was a one-time investment for more than 25 years of benefits.
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