KARACHI, Aug 7: Entrepreneurs have complained that some customs officials have withheld solar panels worth millions of rupees at the port despite the fact that the government had recently withdrawn all taxes on items of renewable energy.
“Their (the customs) line of argument is that the (government) notification uses the words ‘along with’ that means the tax exemption can be granted only in cases where the entire system for solar installation, including batteries and inverters (and not exclusively solar panels), is being imported, while we contend that the equipment for solar system installation is being imported from different countries and not just one,” said retired colonel Tariq Khattak, who heads a Renewable and Alternative Energy Association of Pakistan committee looking into the issue.
He added that many businesses were suffering losses because of this unnecessary delay in the release of solar panels.
No official of the customs authorities was available for comments.
Naveed Bukhari, director (solar) at the Alternative Energy Development Board, said that a summary had been moved to clarify the notification.
“The notification has been misinterpreted. We have moved a summary to the secretary water and power to talk to the federal board of revenue in this regard. The process will take time,” he added.—Staff Reporter