Stakeholders say solar panel policy is ‘bound to fail

Stakeholders from the private sector have expressed concerns over the government’s new policy on solar panels and said it was bound to fail.

Speaking at the closing session of the workshop on the policy, entrepreneurs and industrialists said the government’s policies were promoting the import of solar panels as opposed to local manufacturing.The workshop was organised by the Engineering Development Board (EDB) and the Ministry of Industries and Production (MoIP).

They said that the government has allowed duty free import of solar panels whereas 17 per cent sales tax has been imposed on components and raw material. Tesla Solar CEO Mohamnad Amir said due to heavy taxes, buying parts and raw material from China has become costlier whereas the same vendors in China could sell finished products at cheaper rates.

The stakeholders belonging to the private sector have asked Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Syed Murtaza Mahmood to devise the policy for ten years and ensure that no major changes are made to it during that time.

The federal minister has assured investors and technical experts that hurdles will be removed for companies to manufacture solar panels in the country.

Mr Mahmood also called upon the private sector to become efficient and competitive, instead of depending on the government’s support and incentives.

He said the present government was offering incentives such as tax holidays, duty free import of input materials and plant and machinery to expedite the move towards solar energy.

The prime minister had already approved the plan to generate 10,000 MW of electricity through solar power to overcome the energy crisis, he added.

“With this demand, there was an urgent need to look for opportunities to promote and incentivise local manufacturing of solar panels and allied equipment,” he added.

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