Cabinet pledges cuts to duties on green tech

Cabinet has pledged to remove all import duties on vehicles powered with electrical or renewable energy sources to try and boost its own green commitments and reduce a national reliance on fossil fuels.

As part of this commitment, the government is also expected to cut import charges on solar panels and batteries that can be used as alternate energy sources for marine vehicles in the country.

According to the cabinet’s recommendations, vehicles and power sources exempt from import charges will require documents from the country’s Environmental Protection Agency to accredit any claimed eco-friendly benefits.

The move is tied to the country’s aims of trying to become carbon neutral by 2020, a goal President Moahamed Nasheed has previously claimed would be a disaster for the nation if not achieved – although the government is yet to outline the exact measures it will take to achieve these aims.

Cabinet’s decision to waive the import charges was made at a meeting held yesterday regarding funding developments to try and encourage greater use of renewable energy sources in everyday life and business. These measures include strategies such as subsidising 50 laari for every unit of electricity produced by renewable energy means.

Aside from this environmental focus, the cabinet was also reported to have taken the decision to cut duties on imports of raw materials and agricultural equipment that could be used to bolster fishing and poultry production to reduce the nation’s overall reliance on imports.

Recommendations were also put forward to develop 15,000 square feet of land in Hulhumale’ into a detoxification and drug rehabilitation centre supported from international donor aid.