A new 12 gigawatts solar energy scheme, which has been deftly crafted to mandate local manufacturing without violating WTO’s trade rules, is in the final stages of approval and will help local industry withstand the onslaught of cheap imports.
In a recent report by Economic Times, it has stated that official sources have revealed that the Rs 8,000-crore scheme will be a significant boost for Indian manufacturers, who are also waiting for the imposition of a safeguards duty on solar gear.
The local industry has suffered because WTO, acting on a US complaint, ruled that India had violated trade rules by mandating use of locally made cells and modules in its national solar mission.
The scheme has already been cleared by the Expenditure Finance Committee, which is part of the department of expenditure in the finance ministry, informed another official to the English Daily.
As part of the scheme, Central government’s public sector undertakings will call for tenders for setting up power projects, and the electricity generated through these will be used for their own consumption. “The scheme has been carefully designed to be compliant with the WTO rules.
The scheme will have an implementation period of four years, and by 2022, it will ensure a minimum manufacturing capacity of 3 GW of solar cells per year, which is the current size of the domestic solar cell market in India.
If approved, it will bring relief to the domestic solar manufacturers who, on account of injury from imports of solar components from China, Malaysia and Taiwan, are lobbying for a safeguards duty on these imports.