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Chinese and Malaysian solar panels face 25% safeguard duty in India

The Indian solar manufacturing had asked for 95 per cent safeguard duty on imports

Solar power
The Indian government is likely to impose a safeguard duty (SGD) of 25 per cent on solar cells and modules imported from China and Malaysia for the coming two years, increasing the cost of more than 85 per cent of the solar capacity in the country.

Exempting all other exporting nations such as the US, the UK, and Taiwan, the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) in a gazette notification has recommended 25 per cent duty in the first year, 20 per cent for the first six months of the second year, and 15 per cent for the balance six months.

The imposition of duty would be notified by the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance. The DGTR has not notified duty on the three solar cells and module manufacturers in the special economic zone (SEZ) area – Adani Green Energy, Vikram Solar, and Websol Energy. 

The notification said the issue of levy of SGD on sales/clearances by SEZ units falls under section 30 of the SEZ Act and Section 8B of the Custom Tariff Act, 1975, and hence “required to be dealt by the relevant competent authorities and outside the purview of this investigation.”

“It should be noted that if the SGD is imposed without exempting the SEZ, it will affect the domestic manufacturing industry adversely as 3,825 megawatt (Mw) of the 8,898 Mw of installed capacity of solar modules is based in the SEZ and 2,000 Mw of the 3,164 Mw of installed capacity for solar cells is based in the SEZ. If the government wants to impose SGD, it should exempt the SEZ,” said Gyanesh Chaudhary, managing director and chief executive officer, Vikram Solar. The SGD would lead to an escalation of 60-70 paise in the solar power rates which are ...