LAHORE - The SMEs representatives, in their budget proposals submitted to the government, stressed the need for exempting alternate energy devices from import duties to promote the import of solar energy, wind energy and other power generation equipments based on fuel, bio-gas and gas to cope with the prevailing energy crisis.

They emphasized the need to abolish import duties on alternate energy devices to promote the installation of alternate energy systems by the industrialists. They said that due to high import duties on solar panels and parts, wind mills and bio gas generation systems, the industrialists are avoiding the import which is proving costly due to the depreciation of the rupee in terms of foreign currency and secondly even the maintenance is a costly affair due to import duties on parts which need to be replaced from time to time.

They said that it would be a wise decision to place alternate energy devices on zero duty to encourage industrialists adopt alternate energy systems in their feasibility.

They also invited the attention of the government to the need to exempt farm equipment from import duties and place tractors, harvesters, diesel generators and other farm equipments on duty free list.

They pointed out that since the government is not giving any subsidies it is advisable that the farmers are provided encouragement to modernize for increasing productivity on fast track basis.

Other recommendations given by them included improving the systems of banking, insurance, leasing and logistics for the SME sector by making finance affordable, making the banks comfortable in financing the SMEs by providing insurance cover to the banks, promoting pay as you earn schemes through leasing and strengthening logistics for farm produce.

President of the Unisame Zulfikar Thaver also urged the government to increase the tax exemption limit due to inflation and rupee losing value to Rs500,000 for individuals and accordingly for Association of Persons (AoP) as most of the firms are family owned firms where the family members are partners and work together for mutual interest.