No duties on solar equipment imports : Indian Government

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The government has decided against levying a 70% duty on imports of solar cells and modules from countries like China and Malaysia. An official from the Ministry of Renewable Energy, Anand Kumar, confirmed to the Economic Times that there wouldn’t be any “provisional safeguard duty”. 

solar equipment, solar import, import duty, renewable energy, India
Image for representational purpose only

In January, the government proposed a 70% safeguard duty on solar equipment from China and Malaysia, in response to concerns from domestic manufacturers of solar cells that these imports were biting into their sales. However, domestic developers of solar power projects did not take kindly to the proposal. They argued that the duty would increase their costs significantly and lead to cancellations and delays in their projects.

This led to a petition in the Delhi High Court against the duty by Acme Solar, an Indian energy company. The petition was recently withdrawn following a decision by a government committee on safeguards against imposing the duty, reported Business Insider.

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In line with a goal to achieve 100 gigawatts of solar capacity by 2022, India’s domestic solar power capacity has skyrocketed in recent years. According to data from the Central Electricity Authority, India had 69 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity at the end of March 2018 out of which nearly 21.7 gigawatts came from solar energy alone. This represents more than a tripling in production since March 2016.

Hence, in deciding against the 70% duty, the government has effectively realised that it can’t meet its solar energy production targets without Chinese imports. Not unless it implements several measures to build the capacity of its domestic manufacturers.

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