Green Tax Questioned as Nepal Prioritizes Renewables in Budget

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Kathmandu : Even though the government has announced that renewable energy will be prioritized in the budget for the next fiscal year 2081-82, there is no clear action plan, but there is a complaint from experts, businessmen, engineers and stakeholders in this field. The participants of the ‘Budget Review 2081’ seminar organized by the Nepal Renewable Energy Confederation made this complaint.
Although renewable energy has been prioritized in the budget, the budget allocated for the promotion and development of renewable energy is very low and there is no clear action plan, according to the participants. In the next year’s budget, the government will gradually replace fossil energy with clean and renewable energy in order to achieve the goal of zero carbon emissions within 2045, arrange to connect 100 megawatts of solar power from the private sector to diversify energy production, and research and development to promote green hydrogen. They say that the budget is silent on the issue of small hydropower, other sources of renewable energy. Likewise, renewable energy workers have said that the budget has not addressed issues such as upgrading small hydropower, connecting it to the national transmission line, and promoting domestic and large-scale biogas.
He suggested to the government that it should be clear that the government should not only promote renewable energy in the policies and guidelines to be made in the future.
He emphasized that the ‘green tax’ imposed on petroleum products and coal should be spent on renewable energy to reduce carbon emissions implemented by the government. He suggested to the government that the contribution of renewable energy sources is important in reducing renewable energy emissions and that the ‘green tax’ should be deposited in a separate fund instead of being kept in the central fund of revenue income.
Stakeholders insist that the renewable energy sector should benefit from the green tax, based on the experience that the tax imposed on petroleum products in the past is not a target sector expenditure, but a mechanism expenditure.
The participants of the program said that although the government prioritizes renewable energy as an important part of the sustainable development goal, the government’s interest and international support and commitment have been lax.
In order to develop entrepreneurship without limiting the renewable energy sector to a program dependent only on subsidies, Nepal Rastra Bank should mention it in the monetary policy to provide ‘concessional loans’ to the renewable energy sector, and they insist on creating a clear procedure for spending green tax. In the discussion, former minister and campaigner of renewable energy Ganesh Sah, former executive director of Alternative Energy Promotion Center Dr. Ram Prasad Dhital, energy experts Prada Ramesh Kumar Maske, Vishwabhushan Amatya, Confederation President Gunaraj Dhakal and others expressed their opinion.