UNISAME Urges Revision of Solar Panel Import Policy to Support SMEs

Aug 29, 2023 |

August 28, 2023
Karachi, August 28, 2023 – The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has called upon authorities to review the import policy for solar panels in order to streamline the process and facilitate small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) importers.

In a statement issued today, UNISAME urged both the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Ministry of Commerce to reconsider the current import policy regarding solar panels. The organization emphasized the need to eliminate discrimination between first-tier and second-tier shippers, as SME importers often rely on the latter for their supply chain needs. UNISAME called for the removal of all impediments that hinder SMEs in importing solar panels.

Zulfikar Thaver, President of UNISAME, stressed the importance of allowing such imports to be conducted under self-financing arrangements, which would alleviate financial burdens on SMEs.

Hassan Ibrahim, Chairman of the Solar Panels Importers Group within UNISAME, highlighted the growing concern over exorbitant electricity charges in the country. He warned that the situation had reached a point where public dissatisfaction could escalate into unrest, making it imperative to address these issues promptly.

Abdul Sattar Ali, General Secretary of the Solar Panels Importers Syndicate, urged policymakers to recognize solar panels as essential items and support their importation through self-financing schemes. This would enable SME importers to access solar panels from reliable sources, ending discrimination against second-tier shippers, who are often competitive and efficient suppliers.

Hussain Ali, Convener of the UNISAME Logistics Committee, emphasized the importance of facilitating SME importers, who contribute significantly to the national economy. He pointed out that these businesses ensure the financial stability of commercial banks by depositing equivalent amounts in Pakistani rupees or US dollars in foreign currency accounts, further advocating for their support in the form of relaxed import policies.

Members of the UNISAME Council unanimously stressed the need for policymakers to adopt a more forward-thinking approach. They urged authorities to consider alternative solar energy installations and remove obstacles hindering the importation of solar panels, in an effort to address the economic and energy crises effectively.

As UNISAME continues to champion the cause of SMEs, these recommendations are expected to garner attention and potentially lead to policy changes that will benefit both businesses and consumers in Pakistan.

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