ECC again defers solar equipment

Top official sources confirmed to The News on Monday that the draft policy envisaged electricity production of 5000 Megawatt (MW) till the financial year 2027-28 thus saving fuel import of $1.022 billion in the shape of import substitution. It was claimed in the draft policy that the solar system would generate electricity at a rate of Rs 4-6 per unit against the existing tariff of Rs 31 per unit without taxes. If the taxes are included the cost goes up to Rs 40 to 50 per unit depending upon usage/slabs.

The prime minister had constituted a high-powered committee for the evaluation of policy. The first time the ECC considered the summary for Solar Panel & Allied Equipment Manufacturing in its meeting on March 6, 2023 but, it was deferred with the direction to review the proposed policy in a holistic manner in consultation with all stakeholders.

The summary was again considered in the 47th meeting of the Tariff Policy Board held on April 19, 2023, whereby the CEO Engineering Development Board (EDB) proposed protection for local industry from the imported solar panels, parts and allied equipment through a year-wise Customs Duty/Regulatory Duty on the finished products, reduction in duties on import of inputs used in the manufacturing of solar panels, parts and allied equipment, exemption from duties on import of plant, machinery and equipment used for manufacturing of solar panel, parts and allied equipment. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) requested the list of parts and equipment on which duty reduction was requested for their impact analysis.

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