Govt set to introduce policy on local manufacturing of solar panels

ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to manufacture solar panels in the country, and in this regard Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif has tasked the Ministry of Industries and Production (MoI&P) to ensure the federal cabinet’s approval on a policy latest by March 31, 2023.

According to sources, the minister for finance and revenue has been tasked to work out a plan for early release of solar panels stuck at ports while a forex cushion would be kept for uninterrupted import of solar equipment for the success of the PM’s initiative for solarisation. 

One of the sources said the PM while chairing a meeting to review the progress of energy conservation, issued 11 directions to various ministries, divisions and organisations for compliance as per the given timeline and submission of progress report to the PM’s office. 

They said the premier has directed to make 2000 MW solar power plants operational by September 10, 2023, and directed the MoI&P to finalise the policy for local manufacturing of E-Bikes latest by March 1, 2023. 

Meanwhile, the MoI&P in consultation with the finance division and revenue division should decide the timeline for 100% production of E-Bikes and provision of allied services. 

The government is making a concerted effort to cut the $ 27 billion annual import bill by taking some measures for energy conservation, added the source.

Insiders say the PM’s office has advised all concerned ministries and authorities to ensure compliance, and adhere to the given timelines along with a progress report to be submitted to the PMO.

According to one source, decisions taken by the PM in a meeting on a strategic roadmap for energy conservation, included the bid initiation for the first phase of solarisation of government buildings. 

The cut-off date for solarisation of federal government buildings is fixed for April 30, 2023. And, AEDB is to ensure that relevant data should be finalised by January 15, 2023. 

Similarly, the issuance of the bidding documents for generation of 2000 MWs of solar power on 11 KV feeders will also be initiated, ensuring the commissioning of the projects by September 10, 2023. 

Furthermore, the PM has directed the cabinet division that a committee comprising Shahid Khaqqan Abbasi, MNA (Convener), Minister for Industries, MoS Finance and MoS Petroleum shall be constituted immediately to comprehensively review “The Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power Act, 1997,” (as amended upto 2021) and suggest legislative improvements.

It is also learnt from sources that the PM has directed the petroleum division, Sui companies to ensure installation of 550,000 conical baffles in existing geysers by October 31, 2023, and Science and Technology Division (S&T)/Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) to ensure compliance of installation of conical baffles in all geysers currently being manufactured in Pakistan.

More directions include the PSQCA discontinuing the manufacturing and sale of incandescent bulbs after June 30, 2023, so that the transition takes place smoothly. 

Moreover, the PM has directed the minister for board of investment (BOI), MoI&P, Ministry of S&T, the power division, and National Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority (NEECA) to ensure that the committee headed by the minister for BoI should furnish a progress report of its meetings with all relevant stakeholders.

It should also recommend interventions for replacement of existing fans in use by lifeline electricity consumers, in consultation with power, S&T divisions and NEECA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

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Ahmad Ahmadani
Ahmad Ahmadani
The author is a an investigative journalist at Profit. He can be reached at [email protected]

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