Bulgarian PV industry blasts government's 20% tax plan

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The Bulgarian Photovoltaic Association (BPVA) has slammed government plans to introduce a 20% tax on revenue from renewable energy.

The BPVA issued a statement on Saturday saying that its members would use all legal means necessary to protect their rights as investors in the EU member state, according to the Sofia News Agency website Novinite.com.

The news site said the levy was expected to inject some BGN 160 million into the state budget, with Bulgarian Finance Minister Petar Chobanov describing the tax as a buffer.

"The acknowledgement that potential revenues from the discriminatory and illegal 20% tax on turnovers of wind turbines and solar plants will be used as a budget buffer is the acknowledgement of the absolute lack of financial strategy and economic thought," the BPVA said.

The BPVA stressed that the government would tax a sector comprising more than 200 small and medium-sized Bulgarian and foreign companies that had invested more than EUR 4 billion in the Bulgarian economy.

The association warned that the move could scare off investors from coming to Bulgaria, pointing out that the governmentÂ’s decision was made in the dark and without debate.

At the same time, the BPVA accused the government of whitewashing questionable practices at heavily indebted state-owned energy companies.

"Through the adoption of a 20% tax on turnovers of solar plants and wind farms our politicians reverse the country’s progress of the past century and condemn us to the club of poor countries," the BPVA concluded in its declaration, Novinite said.