No plan to tax solar power equipment, Nasir tells PA

Our Correspondent
Thursday, May 23, 2024

Sindh Energy Minister Nasir Shah said on Wednesday that the relevant federal authorities have assured the provincial government that there is no proposal under consideration to impose any tax on the equipment of solar energy systems. Shah was speaking during the question hour of the provincial assembly.

Responding to the written and verbal queries of lawmakers, the minister said that the federal government imposing any tax on solar power equipment would be a sheer act of injustice with the power consumers who are already financially overburdened due to inflated electricity bills.

He said the provincial government had earlier conveyed its reservations and concerns to the federal authorities on the feared move of imposing a tax on solar power equipment. He also assured the legislators that he would talk to the CEOs of K-Electric, the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco) and the Sukkur Electric Power Company (Sepco) about unannounced load-shedding and over-billing in different parts of the province.

He claimed that the power distribution companies (DISCOs) are being censured on the issue of prolonged load-shedding during the vital board examinations being conducted in the province. Shah said anyone defaulting on the payment of electricity bills alone should be deprived of electricity, and the residents in their entire neighbourhood should not be penalised by disconnecting their power supply.

He said the provincial government has assured the DISCOs of its complete support for catching the people involved in the pilferage of electricity and the non-payment of power bills. He also said that it is sheer injustice to send inflated electricity bills to the power consumers who have to suffer prolonged absence of electricity daily amid the intense heatwave.

The minister said the DISCOs have been asked to ensure uninterrupted electricity to power consumers in the coming days amid the forecast of sizzling weather. He said the DISCOs would come under the provincial government’s control to a certain extent after the provincial electric power regulatory authority starts functioning in Sindh. The provincial government will provide solar home systems to 500,000 underprivileged households in five districts, he added.

Meanwhile, the PA unanimously passed a resolution urging every resident in the province to plant a tree to play their due part in improving the environmental conditions. The resolution was moved by the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party’s MPA Khurrum Karim Soomro.