Relief for Indian solar producers as government negates import duty

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India has scrapped a duty on solar modules, making it easier to import the products after a sudden change in customs policy last year led to a logjam of shipments at Indian ports, reported Economic Times.

import duty, solar panels, government, duty scrapping, India
Image for representational purpose only

Several consignments of solar modules, worth more than $150 million in total, were held up for more than three months at ports after Indian customs’ officials in August demanded that some of them be classified as “electric motors and generators”, carrying a 7.5 percent import duty. Previously they were subject to no duty.

The finance ministry reversed the policy last month, stating in a notice seen by Reuters that most solar modules should revert to their original classification and that no tax should be levied on them.

Indian component makers have struggled to compete with Chinese companies such as Trina Solar and Yingli and have sought anti-dumping duties as well as long-term safeguards.

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The English Daily reported that the plan has spurred foreign investment in the sector, with Japan’s SoftBank and Goldman Sachs among others investing in solar projects in India.

An executive at the Indian unit of Germany’s Enerparc, which had 30 of its containers stuck at the port of Chennai, said to ET that there was still some uncertainty about the process even though the duty had been scrapped.
 

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