MABAD (APP) - The Ministry of Environment would propose the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) to reduce import duty on solar energy related equipments from existing 28 per cent to 6 or 7 percent.
Addressing a press conference here, Minister for Environment Hameed Ullah Jan Afridi said the proposal is aimed at meeting the growing energy demand in the country.
He said the ministry has taken this decision in consultation with all stakeholders including Ministries of Finance, Commerce and Industries, Alternate Energy Board and Renewable Energy Association. Utmost efforts would be made to draft the summary of the proposal at the earliest so that the ECC could take it up in its next meeting, likely to be held on the coming Tuesday, he said.
He expressed the hope that after approval of the proposal by ECC, economical solar energy equipments would be available in markets for local manufacturers. Afridi said such initiatives should have been taken earlier to ensure cheaper and pollution-free energy in the country.
Representatives of Renewable Energy Association (REA) said a solar energy panel for a house would cost Rs.75,000 to 80,000, adding it would electrify at least four ceiling fans and two tube lights for six hours with five years warranty. They said the solar energy would be more beneficial especially in the areas where diesel generators are being used for agriculture purpose, besides in electrification of billboards and mobile phone towers.
They said the government should ensure import of qualitative equipments to avoid production of substandard solar energy panels. The minister assured the representatives of REA that national level body would be formed to keep check on quality of imported solar energy equipments.