ISLAMABAD: The government on Saturday settled all necessary matters regarding import of solar power panels and related equipment for promoting alternative and renewable energy.

The Ministry of Finance, in a st­a­tement here, said that Finance Mi­n­ister Ishaq Dar chaired a meeting in this regard which was atte­nd­ed by senior representatives of the Min­istry of Industries & Pro­du­ction, Engineering Develop­ment Bo­ard (EDB), Federal Board of Re­venue (FBR) and the Ministry of Finance.

The minister was informed that the EDB, under the aegis of the Ministry of Industries, met local manufacturers and importers ascertaining their views on the issue of import duty and sales tax.

The EDB was of the view that local manufacturing is limited and lacks the required international certification and standards. The use of solar panels has just started picking up and it is in the interest of reducing the extraordinary load on existing supply of power and reduction in the load shedding to promote the use of solar panels as an alternate source of electricity.

Accordingly, it was decided that the duty and sales tax regime applicable to an industry that does not have local production will be applicable to solar panels.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had assigned Dar the special task to look into the matter and settle all issues concerning import of solar panels.

Accordingly, the minister called an urgent meeting of related departments today to settle all issues.

Published in Dawn December 7th , 2014

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