Businesses want 1pc duty on solar panel import


Business Desk :
Businesses on Thursday demanded that the government lower the duty on the import of solar panels meant for use in industrial plants to 1 percent in order to facilitate the implementation of a national roadmap on renewable energy production.

The existing import duty on solar panels varies between 43 percent to 58.60 percent, which the businesses say is very expensive for industrial units.

The demand was made during a meeting of businesspeople with Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, adviser to the prime minister for power, energy and mineral resources, at the Prime Minister’s Office in Dhaka.

Leaders of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and different business chambers attended the meeting.

The event was led by Md Amin Helaly, senior vice-president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI).

Helaly told that the government has targeted to produce 12,497 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy, such as through solar panels and wind turbines, by 2030.

Currently, 437MW of electricity comes from the renewable energy sources and the government has the target to produce 1,641MW of renewable energy by 2025, he said.


To achieve the target, the government should facilitate the businesses so that they can produce renewable energy easily, he added.

Helaly also said yesterday’s meeting was a preparatory meeting for another scheduled to be held with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday to discuss the overall situation of the economy such as trade, business and banking and different challenges and opportunities.

The businesses will also hold another meeting on the business environment with Salman F Rahman, adviser to the prime minister on private industry and investment, at Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) in Dhaka on Saturday.

Mohammad Ali Khokon, president of the BTMA, said the international clothing retailers and brands have also set a target for the local garment suppliers on the use of clean energy but they are facing difficulties on the import of solar panels because of the high duty.

Energy use transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is important as per the requirements of international clothing retailers and brands.

Bangladesh has been making the transition as its export destinations have targeted emission reductions as per the Paris agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.