- Nitin Gadkari highlighted that India still imports imports energy efficient solar panels
- He highlighted towards the opportunity for India to attract foreign investment in the country
Union Minister for MSME and Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari held a meeting via video conferencing with the members of Maha Solar Sangathan to understand the opportunities in the solar energy sector. The Minister highlighted the importance of solar energy and said that the sector has a huge potential and can help to reduce the electricity cost significantly.
He further mentioned that sectors such as agriculture, warehousing etc. are energy extensive sectors and proper commercial use of solar energy such as solar water pump for irrigation and solar electricity for cold storage can contribute towards reducing power cost.
India imports in big numbers from China
It is to be noted here that India imported solar cells and modules worth $1,179.89 million from China in the first nine months of the 2019-20 financial year (FY). In FY17, FY18, and FY19 India’s solar imports from China stood at $2,817.34 million, $3,418.96 million, and $1,694.04 million, respectively.
In FY17, FY18, and FY19 the total value of the India’s solar imports stood at $3,196.5 million, $3,837.6 million, and $2,159.7 million, respectively. China-headquartered companies supply about 80 per cent of solar cells and modules to India.
Export enhancement along with import substitution
The union minister emphasized on the need of export enhancement along with import substitution to replace foreign imports with domestic production. He highlighted that India still imports energy efficient solar panels and encouraged the manufactures to make India self-reliant with the help of “Make in India” products.
The Minister mentioned that for providing much-needed impetus to the MSME sector to deal with the current economic instability, the government has announced several measures under Special Economic Package: Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan including collateral free automatic loan, which will allow the MSMEs to enhance working capital by 20% without providing additional collateral.
Gadkari urged the industry representatives to come up with some new, innovative and economically viable business model which can be implemented in various sector such as agriculture, warehousing etc. to provide low cost sustainable energy. He said that this will not only help to reduce the cost of energy in various sector but also give the required thrust for “Make in India” initiative.
He opined that industry should focus more on innovation, entrepreneurship, science and technology, research skill and experiences to convert the knowledge into wealth.
The Minister recalled that Government of Japan has offered special package to its industries for withdrawing Japanese investments from China and move elsewhere. He said that this can be an opportunity for India to attract foreign investment in the country.