The commerce ministry has recommended levying anti-dumping duty on solar cells imported from the US, Malaysia, China and Chinese Taipei. The move is aimed at providing relief to domestic manufacturers.
Concluding an 18-month probe into allegations that cheap solar cells were being dumped into India, the ministry has suggested a restrictive duty in the range of $0.11 to $0.81 per watt.
The notification to impose anti-dumping duty is likely to be issued by the new government which will assume office after swearing in of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister on Monday.
Incidentally, renewable energy programme, which includes boosting solar power schemes, is dear to Modi.
The Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) has recommended duty on imports of solar cells from Malaysia, China, Chinese Taipei and the US.
The levy would be applicable "whether or not assembled partially or fully in modules or panels or on glass or some other suitable substrates, originating in or exported" from these countries, a commerce ministry notification said.
“The product under consideration has been exported to India from subject countries below its normal value, thus resulting in dumping of the product; the domestic industry has suffered material injury due to dumping of the product under consideration,” the DGAD probe has concluded.
To protect the interests of local players, the panel has proposed that Chinese imports should attract duties of $0.64 - 0.81 per watt while the levy suggested for such cells coming from the US is $0.11 - 0.48 per watt.
Similarly, duties of $0.62 per watt and $0.59 per watt have been recommended for solar cell imports from Malaysia and Taipei, respectively.
According to the report, imports of solar cells from the US, Malaysia, China and Taipei have jumped to 1,73,015 KW (kilo watt) in 2010-11 from 57,661 KW.
"The Authority is of the view that imposition of definitive anti-dumping duty is required to offset dumping and injury. Therefore, the Authority considers it necessary to recommend imposition of definitive anti-dumping duties on the imports of the goods from the countries," it added.
The application for the probe was filed by Solar Manufacturer's Association of India on behalf of three of its member companies - Indosolar Ltd, Jupiter Solar Power Ltd and Websol Energy Systems Ltd.
The recommendations also come against the backdrop of the US dragging India to the WTO on the country's solar mission plan that allows only local equipment.
India has said that its national solar mission programme is WTO-compliant and it would defend its stand in the Geneva-based multilateral body.
India in 2010 launched Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. It aims to have 20,000 MW of grid-connected solar power by 2022.