Pakistan solar tax slammed as imports left stranded

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email

A former Pakistani technology minister has attacked a new tax that has left containers full of imported solar equipment reportedly stranded at ports in the Asian country.

Pakistan's new Financial Act 2014 came into force 1 July, implementing a 30% tax policy for solar panel imports, which were previously exempt from the duties because of their importance in combatting Pakistan’s energy crisis.

The imposition of the tax has led to an estimated 70 containers of solar panels becoming stranded at the port of Karachi.

According to local reports, the tax for the imported containers has gone from zero, to as much as PKR5.5 million (US$55,000) in owed tax per container. The tax could add up to a 35% increase on panel prices.  

Atta-ur-Rahman, Pakistan’s former technology minister and a leading scientist told PV Tech: “This is a wrong policy decision by the government. They should have made it tax free and offered a 30% subsidy on import of solar panels.”

“The world over, solar and other alternative forms of energy have been promoted through incentives, not through additional taxes,” said Rahman.

Before the Financial Act came into force, for a tax exemption, solar importers had to write a letter to the national Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) for approval.

Local reports from Custom Today in March suggested that complaints had been made by customs officials over the alleged misuse of the tax exemption by importers. According to The News Pakistan’s Engineering Development Board (EDB) proposed an end to the tax exemption, but quoted a source from AEDB claiming the latter was not informed of any changes. 

The source said the AEDB was pressing for the tax to be overturned.

Previously, the government had pushed solar projects to meet urgent energy demands, with an estimated shortage of 6GW. The government scrapping import duties for solar panels, inviting energy and infrastructure investment from China, introducing a feed-in tariff and building up a 700MW-plus pipeline of PV projects, were supposed to be underline a pledge made by Nawaz Sharif, the pro-solar prime minister elected last year, to end the energy crisis by the end of his five-year term.

28 September 2021
Solar Solutions International is the largest trade show for solar energy in Northwest Europe. Now the solar market has grown up, it's time for the next step. Solar Solutions International displays more than 500 innovations and over 100 practical seminars concerning the latest in energy storage, smart products, and an ever evolving array of solar panels. As an exclusively B2B trade show, Solar Solutions International offers both exhibitors and visitors the chance to network at the highest level. Duurzaam Verwarmd, the largest trade show for sustainable HVAC technology in the Benelux, is held simultaneously. This way your one visit gets you up to date with all of the developments in both sustainable energy and heating.
6 October 2021
Intersolar Europe is the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry. It takes place as part of The smarter E Europe – the continent’s largest platform for the energy industry. Under the motto “Connecting solar business,” manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers and project planners and developers from around the world meet in Munich every year to discuss the latest developments and trends, explore innovations firsthand and meet potential new customers.
6 October 2021
The future is bright for a new era of US solar and storage, and the 8th annual Solar & Storage Finance Summit will provide opportunities to discuss solutions to the industry’s challenges and provide a networking platform designed to bring together the top minds in the industry to do business. With a mix of high-level, informative presentations and panels, a stellar cast of speakers and audience members with deal-making capacity, the 2021 edition of the event will be a sell-out success.
18 October 2021
Intersolar South America, South America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry, takes place at the Expo Center Norte in São Paulo, Brazil on October 18–20, 2021, and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. At the accompanying Intersolar South America Conference, renowned experts shed light on hot topics in the solar industry.
19 October 2021
This year’s EV World Congress will hold a special role, not only as the first live EverythingEV event in over a year – a chance to renew your connections and re-engage with the EV sector face to face – but also as a chance to share insight and inspiration as world starts to look towards move on post COVID towards hitting ambitious decarbonisation goals in 2030 and beyond. As ever, we will be bringing world leading organisations, cities, and technology providers to the UK to inspire EV innovators, and delve into the challenges facing the sector as the UK looks to revolutionise road transport.
20 October 2021
Utility-scale solar is evolving, shaped by higher power modules and demand for increasingly lower levelised cost of electricity (LCOE). Those trends are also changing project requirements elsewhere, with inverters capable of delivering high power density and power capacity in strong demand. In this webinar, FIMER will detail how its innovative high-power, multi-MPPT string inverter and modular conversion solution can both meet those demands and transform the utility-scale solar sector for the better.

Read Next

September 24, 2021
Independent power producer Catalyze has acquired commercial and industrial (C&I) solar developer Sol Alliance, expanding its presence in the northeast of the US and taking on an 80MW project development pipeline in the process.
September 24, 2021
California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a US$15 billion package to fund programmes to tackle drought and climate change in the state
PV Tech Premium
September 24, 2021
Concerns have been raised that new measures introduced by Spain’s government to limit windfall profits of renewable energy plants could dent investor confidence and impact the stability of the country’s solar sector.
September 24, 2021
DNV-owned solar monitoring firm GreenPowerMonitor is to integrate Alteso’s solar analytics tech platform into its offering after striking a deal to acquire it.
September 23, 2021
A project that bids to combine up to 20GW of solar PV with the world’s largest energy storage battery and a 4,200km-long subsea power cable has moved a step forward after Indonesian authorities greenlit its proposed transmission cable route.
September 23, 2021
US national residential and C&I solar plant performance assessment company Omnidian has completed a US$33 million Series B raise.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
BRISTOL, UK
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021