The Finance Ministry has announced the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) decision to set safeguard on solar panels that are imported from Malaysia & China, which is sure to raise costs of future solar power projects. Around 90% of modules & panels used in Indian projects imported from these 2 countries.
The Directorate General of Trade Remedies had recommended the imposition of 25 percent safeguard duty on solar power panels from China & Malaysia about a fortnight ago for 1 year, followed by 20 percent for the coming 6 months and 15 percent for another 6 months. It did so because these types of imports were causing “serious & major injury” to domestic solar manufacturers. This will come into effect from 30th July.
The DGTR had reacted to a complaint from the ISMA (Indian Solar Manufacturers Association) last December by organizing its own investigation. The team concluded that internally made solar panels & cells, which constituted just 10 percent of Indian solar projects in 2014-2015, had fallen even further in consecutive years. Solar manufacturers preferred Malaysian & Chinese solar equipment, as it was cheaper than Indian equipment.
Solar Panel Manufacturers has been opposing strongly because it would increase tariffs, as they would have no other way but to pass on the basis of extra charges to consumers. This might slow down an ambitious solar programme of Indian which supposed to have 100,000 Megawatt (MW) of solar capacity by 2022. They are completely known by the fact that the local manufacturers do not have enough capacity to meet their requirements.