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The “Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa” of The Indian Solar Industry

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After much thought, the Indian ministry had finally come up with the imposition of safeguard duty on solar cell and panel imports from China and Malaysia. A duty of 25% had been proposed which would eventually decrease. The industry has been divided on the matter of duty imposition, with some thinking the duties would eventually increase the solar tariff in India and others thinking duty imposition would protect the domestic solar manufacturing.

However, within few days of this announcement, the finance ministry has planned to stay the imposition. The imported solar cells and solar panels will be assessed provisionally on furnishing a simple letter of undertaking or bond for the time being. In the last twenty odd days, this was the second court order passed against the imposition of safeguard duty. The Madras High Court has asked the Chennai Customs office to release the solar panel shipment of Shapoorji Pallonji provisionally, without paying the safeguard duty.

Solar on island

Leading solar developers like Hero Future Energies, ACME Solar and Vikram Solar had filed petitions opposing the safeguard duties, in the Orissa High Court. MNRE had also requested the Finance Ministry to exempt the existing projects from safeguards duty.

I think India seriously needs to rethink its strategies and stick to its plans going forward. The wavering nature of the government’s decisions and policies is upsetting the whole industry. Recently, SECI also canceled 2.4 GW in one of the largest solar power auctions in the Indian history and the reason was the tariff difference of 0.20 per kWh between the lowest and highest bids. It is now imperative to think what is an unreasonable tariff in India. India boasts of one of the lowest solar power tariffs in the world, even lower than the conventional power tariffs. The country is currently at a “Solar High” and should not stop the momentum of growth.

I hope the Ministry can see things more clearly and come up with sustainable and practical plans. The “Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa” situation is kind of confusing the industry and it is frustrating to see precious time being wasted.

PG

Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to greensneha@yahoo.in

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