RAWALPINDI - Duty free import of solar panels allowed by the government is destroying local industry which produces A-grade quality panels and exports them to America, Europe, Africa and Central Asian States after qualifying TUV certification from European Union, said Aamir Hussain, the Chief Executive officer of Tesla Industries Pakistan while addressing to a seminar held here on “Solar Engineering and Pakistan”.

A number of industrialists, doctors, professors, students of engineering universities including Mubarak Hussain Haider, Prof. Dr. Hafiz Matie Ullah, Dr. Mass, Professor Ghulam Mohammad, Nazeer Ahmed attended the seminar.

While rebutting the posture created by a government department, he said there was no shortage of fertile brains in Pakistan in any field and the only thing required was the recognition of their work at government level. He said after allowing duty free import of solar panels, now a letter written to Ministry of Commerce and production by a department, which was responsible for the engineering manufacturing sector development had declared that manufacturing of solar panels locally as zilch till 30-6-2015 while reality was contrary to it as Tesla had not only qualified for TUV certification from European Union for its A-grade solar panels but also exported more than 11 mega watt solar panel up till now to America, Europe and African countries.

Mubarak Hussain Haider, a Ph.D scholar said that our experts have touched the height of excellence in manufacturing solar panels which are recognized internationally but government department is in denial which is divergent to reality and discouraging local industry. He said TUV certificate was an honor for our country and national media highlighted this achievement nationwide. “It is a matter of great bewilderment and incomprehension for us to believe that government department, which is meant to encourage the development of engineering in the country, is not aware of this growth in solar engineering in the country”, he added.

Dr Hafiz Matie Ullah and other speakers said that recently American companies placed orders with Pakistani Solar Panels Manufacturers of importing 250 Kilo Watts of solar panels in their country while 60 KW solar panels have already been exported to Sweden and a 10 Mega watt solar project installation by Tesla is going to complete in Guinea Bissau. They showed grave concern over what they said that those at helm of affairs at government level were discouraging our experts who gained their place in the height of excellence internationally but denied by their own government.

Speakers further said that duty free import of solar panels resulted in a flood of sub-standard solar panels which captured local markets.

They said these sub-standard solar panels were wastage of money and time of our people as they kept on changing the same to obtain required results but all in vain.

CPEC to bring socio-economic development: Ahsan

ISLAMABAD (Online): Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal has said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would bring socio-economic development in the country.

He was talking to the students of universities of Balochsitan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in Islamabad.

He briefed them about the benefits of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor for the two provinces. Briefing on the development of Gwadar, he said various development projects like Gwadar Airport, technical institutions and hospitals would be built in the port city.

Ogra recommends govt not to raise prices of petroleum products

ISLAMABAD (Online): Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has recommended to government for not enhancing prices of petroleum products to avoid inflation during the holy month of Ramadan.

As per media reports, OGRA has said government can make a change in levy slapped on petroleum products in order to minimize  General Sales Tax (GST).

The past tendency reflects that transporters and traders have looted the consumers by taking undue advantage of increase in the price of petroleum products.

In this context it has been recommended to the government that Ramadan is two weeks away and it will be better for the consumers if the prices of petroleum products are kept stable in the prevailing situation.

A senior government functionary said that Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif does not agree with the ministry of petroleum recommendations for raising prices of petroleum products.

‘Govt utilising maximum resources to correct energy-mix’

LAHORE (Online): Provincial Minister for Mines & Mineral Chaudhry Sher Ali Khan said that government has been utilizing maximum resources to correct energy-mix through coal-fired and solar power projects.

He said that while speaking at a National Experts Conference on “Coal and Alternative Energy Resources” at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry today.

The LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz, Vice President Syed Mahmood Ghaznavi, Convener LCCI Standing Committee on Coal & Alternate Fuels Fazal Ahmad, Vice Chancellor of UET Prof. Dr. Fazal Ahmad Khalid, Director Technical & Operations DG Khan Cement Dr. Muhammad Kashif and Lecturer of GCU Fatima Akram were the key speakers.

The Minister said that the government was spending sufficient amount of energy and resources for the promotion of alternate energy resources. He said that a 100-MW solar power project was already operational in Punjab while a number of coal-fired power projects including a 300 MW in Pind Dadan Khan and 1320 MW project in Sahiwal were in the pipeline that would help overcome energy challenges.

Provincial Minister said that Punjab government has been restructuring the mining sector as lack of modern technology is coming in the way of fully exploitation of coal mining. He urged the private sector to come forward and invest in mining sector that would be a great service to the country.

He said that to equip mineral sector with up-to-date technology was one of the top priorities of the Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif. He said that modern technology would be helpful in utilization of domestic coal reserves which have addition quantity of sulphur and ash. Provincial Minister said that energy conservation is also need of the hour therefore business community should supplement the government efforts in this regard.

LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that Pakistan is currently facing energy crisis. The impact of this crisis is seriously hampering our economic growth. It is high time that all the possible solutions are explored and most viable options are put into operation. LCCI President said that presently almost 40% electricity is generated through coal all over the world.

In case of Pakistan, less than 1% electricity is being generated from coal. He said that countries like South Africa, Australia, China, Russia, Poland and Czech Republic generate 80,000 megawatts of electricity through underground coal gasification. Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that we in fact require such technology which is not only cost effective but also easy to be installed. China has been producing more than 75% electricity from coal.

We could acquire all sort of technical and technological assistance from China as they have developed environment friendly technology. LCCI Vice President Syed Mahmood Ghaznavi said that we have to promote alternate energy resources as reliance on conventional resources like thermal is one of the biggest reasons of energy crisis.

Chairman of the Standing Committee Mian Fazal Ahmad said that keeping in view the rising energy demand it is highly imperative to use cheaper fuels and indigenous coal for long term benefits to national economy. He said that with total estimated coal reserves of over 186 billion tons, Pakistan ranks sixth among coal-rich countries but yet coal’s potential has not been exploited adequately.