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Pakistan Removes Taxes From Manufacture of Renewable To Overcome Power Shortage

That might be resolved in part by the government starting a certification system for renewable energy products to grade them according to quality, he said.

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Pakistan
Technicians work on a solar panel about 25 km (15 miles) from Karachi, Pakistan, June 18, 2010. VOA

Pakistan’s government has proposed to eliminate taxes associated with manufacturing of solar and wind energy equipment in the country, in an effort to boost the production and use of renewable power and overcome power shortages.

A new government budget bill, expected to be approved in parliament within a month, would give renewable energy manufacturers and assemblers in the country a five-year exemption from the taxes.

“Pakistan is paying the heavy cost of an ongoing energy crisis prevailing for the last many years,” Finance Minister Asad Umar said last week in a budget speech. “In this difficult time, the promotion of renewable energy resources like wind and solar has become indispensable.”

Only about 5 to 6 percent of the power to Pakistan’s national electrical grid currently comes from renewable energy, according to the country’s Alternate Energy Development Board (AEDB).

Pakistan
 The rooftop photovoltaic installation supports the Department of DefenseÕs goal of increasing renewable energy sources to 25 percent of all energy consumed by the year 2025. 

The proposed tax reduction should boost that by encouraging greater local manufacturing of equipment needed for renewable power expansion, said Asad Mahmood, a renewable energy expert with the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, which sits within the Ministry of Energy.

Remaining hurdles

But manufacturers said the tax breaks likely would not be sufficient to spur expansion of local renewable energy industries.

Naeem Siddiqui, the chairman of Ebox Systems, which assembles solar panels in Islamabad, said the new tax breaks were good news but Pakistani manufacturers would still struggle to compete with tax-free, low-priced imports of foreign-built solar panels and other renewable energy equipment.

“The government has already waived off taxes and duties on the import of renewable energy products, and local manufacturers cannot compete with the low-priced imported items,” he said.

Pakistan today imports more than 95 percent of the solar panels and other renewable energy systems it uses, largely from China, said Aamir Hussain, chief executive officer of Tesla PV, one of the largest manufacturers of solar energy products in Pakistan.

Solar panels
Workers install photovoltaic solar panels at the Gujarat solar park under construction in Charanka village in Patan district of the western Indian state of Gujarat, India. India is planning new large-scale installations of the technology on hydropower reservoirs and other water bodies in Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand states, and in the Lakshadweep islands. VOA

“As long as the government will not impose duties on the import of finished products, the local market cannot grow,” he said.

Pakistani manufacturers also might need government help in pushing sales of new Pakistani clean energy products abroad, in order to build bigger markets and lower manufacturing costs, Siddiqui said.

Mahmood, of the energy ministry, said he believed the government would also move to cut existing duties on the import of components used in manufacturing finished renewable energy products, in order to help Pakistani manufacturers.

Taxes on those components have pushed up prices of Pakistani-made renewable energy systems, making them harder to sell and leading several companies to the brink of failure, he said.

Certification system

Local manufacturers should work with the government to determine which components should be manufactured locally and which imported to ensure costs of locally made wind and solar systems are competitive, he said.

Pakistan, Sikh
A man waits to cross a portion of track once shared with the Karachi Circular Railway line in Karachi, Pakistan. VOA

Muhammad Abdur Rahman, managing director of Innosol, a company that imports and installs renewable energy systems, said that cheap imports of renewable energy systems from China remain the main barrier to building more such systems in Pakistan.

“The local industry is facing pricing issues because of low-quality solar energy appliances being imported in the country that are very cheap as compared to the local market,” he said.

Also Read: Pakistan Appoints its First Ever Female Hindu Civil Judge

That might be resolved in part by the government starting a certification system for renewable energy products to grade them according to quality, he said.

Amjad Ali Awan, chief executive officer of the Alternate Energy Development Board, said the aim of the new policies was for renewable energy to supply 28 to 30 percent of the country’s national electrical grid by 2030. (VOA)

Next Story

“A Nuclear War Between India and Pakistan Can Lead To Worst Global Food Crisis”, Say Researchers

While the impacts of global warming on agricultural productivity have been studied extensively, the implications of sudden cooling for global crop growth are little understood

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Nuclear War
Nuclear weapons must be eliminated because if they exist, they can be used with tragic consequences for the world. Pixabay

 A war between India and Pakistan using less than one per cent of nuclear weapons available in the world could lead to the worst global food crisis in modern history, say researchers.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said that sudden global cooling from a limited nuclear war along with less precipitation and sunlight could disrupt food production and trade worldwide for about a decade — more than the impact from anthropogenic climate change by late (21st) century.

While the impacts of global warming on agricultural productivity have been studied extensively, the implications of sudden cooling for global crop growth are little understood, according to the researchers. “Our results add to the reasons that nuclear weapons must be eliminated because if they exist, they can be used with tragic consequences for the world,” said study co-author Alan Robock, Professor at Rutgers University in the US.

Robock co-authored a recent study in the journal Science Advances estimating more than 100 million people could die immediately if India and Pakistan wage a nuclear war, followed by global mass starvation.

For the new study, the research team used a scenario of five million tons of black smoke (soot) from massive fires injected into the upper atmosphere that could result from using only 100 nuclear weapons.

That would cool the Earth by 1.8 degrees Celsius (3.2 degrees Fahrenheit) and lead to eight per cent lower precipitation and less sunlight for at least five years.

The researchers included those climate changes in computer simulations by six different crop models for four major crops that account for 90 per cent of global cereal production in terms of calories.

They found that corn calorie production would fall by 13 per cent, wheat by 11 per cent, rice by three per cent and soybeans by 17 per cent over five years. Total first-year losses of 12 per cent would be four times larger than any food shortage in history, such as those caused by historic droughts and volcanic eruptions, the study said.

Nuclear, Atom, Bomb, Atomic, Science, War, Radioactive
A war between India and Pakistan using less than one per cent of nuclear weapons available in the world could lead to the worst global food crisis in modern history, say researchers. Pixabay

Analyses of food trade networks show that domestic reserves and global trade can largely buffer the loss of food production in the first year. But multiyear losses would reduce domestic food availability, especially in food-insecure countries.

By year five, corn and wheat availability would decrease by 13 per cent globally and by more than 20 per cent in 71 countries with a total of 1.3 billion people. Corn production in the US and Canada — representing more than 40 per cent of global production — would drop by 17.5 per cent.

ALSO READ: Coronavirus Spread Leads to Shortage of Supplies and Cross-Border Chaos in Europe

According to the researchers, 16 million tons of smoke could arise from a nuclear war between India and Pakistan since they now have more and bigger weapons and their potential targets are larger. (IANS)