Take steps to exempt VAT on solar equipment

Banks should provide financial assistance to poor to buy solar products, says Selco India Limited Chairman Harish Hande Magsaysay award winner Dr Harish Hande said that Karnataka government should take measures to exempt 5.5 per cent of Value Added Tax (VAT) levied on solar equipment to promote sustainable energy sources in rural areas.

Speaking to media persons here on Thursday, Selco India Limited Chairman said unlike other states like Maharastra and Andhra Pradesh, the Karnataka government has failed to exempt VAT on the solar energy equipment. He added if VAT is exempted, the poor people in rural areas will be benefited the most.

“It is sarcastic that the government offers tax exemption to IT/BT facilities utilised by the rich class. The official letter, which was forwarded to the government, was not taken into consideration,” he lamented.

He said there was tax exemption until 2002. Karnataka is a role model to the country in having solar energy equipment in large number of houses. Around two lakh houses are using solar energy in Karnataka. The rural banks support to promote the solar energy in rural areas is commendable.

He said Karnataka being the role model, a group of 40 enthusiast members from Africa are visiting Karnataka to study the endorsement of solar energy in rural areas in December. He said the Latin American and African countries are very much influenced by the Karnataka model for the promotion of solar energy, he added.

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