Finance Minister can now grant tax exemptions to companies investing in wind or solar energy; Edghill calls for credible analysis

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The sixth bill tabled last night (Thursday January 5, 2017) in the National Assembly, the Income Tax (In Aid of Industry) (Amendment) Bill 2016 seeks to amend the Act to empower the Minister to grant exemption from Corporation tax with respect to the provision of wind and solar energy, water treatment facility and waste disposal facility.

The Bill was passed by a Government majority, but not before much debate and questioning from the Parliamentary Opposition, People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C).

The main bone of contention is the fact that this Bill will empower the Finance Minister to grant tax exemptions to companies engaging in wind and solar energy and water treatment and disposal services.

PPP/C MP Juan Edghill questioned why restrict things to just wind and solar energy while other parts of the country can utilize other forms of renewable energy. He pointed out that water, not only hydro, can be used in other energy generating ways.

Edghill while pointing out that hydropower is not the only way forward in terms of renewable energy, called for more informed decisions to be made in this regard.

Nigel Dharamlall had several questions including how the benefits would be quantified and how these would be passed on to those persons in the areas earmarked; how many Green jobs would be produced, what type of spin off businesses would be created and what is the Government’s sustainability plan.

He also questioned if a special interest group would receive the bulk of the accrued benefits. According to Dharamlall each tax incentive is an additional burden on the already over taxed populace.

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