Govt should reevaluate de-solarisation via tax measures: Shahid

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Former President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Shahid Rasheed Butt on Sunday said the approval of certain proposals in the mini-budget will lead to de-solarisation and it will drasti-cally increase environmental pollution which is a negation of the government’s announcements to reduce pollution.

He asked the government to immediately withdraw proposals that if implemented will increase envi-ronmental pollution which is already very high in some cities. In a statement issued here on Sunday, Shahid Rashid Butt said that the government has been an-nouncing plans to increase the share of renewable energy in the energy mix to improve the environ-ment and cut oil import bill but it has planned impo-sition of 17 percent sales tax on solar equipment in the mini-budget that is a negation of its policies.

He said that taxing the solar sector would reduce the use of solar power, increase smuggling and flood the market with substandard goods which will only hurt the consumers.

Shahid Rasheed said that along with the solar power sector, taxing wind power, irrigation equip-ment and waste disposal plants are also being taxed which is amazing.Solar is the only option for many living in off grid areas, presently 22.72 percent rural households in Baluchistan, 13.2 percent in KP, 9.4 percent in Sindh and 3.3 percent in Punjab uses solar power and tax measures will hit the poor living in off-grid areas.

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