India Imposes Safeguard Duty On Solar Cells For One More Year Till July 2021
An employee inspects solar panels, part of a solar power microgrid in Bihar, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

India Imposes Safeguard Duty On Solar Cells For One More Year Till July 2021

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India has imposed for one more year of safeguard duty on solar cells to protect local manfacturers and push against Chinese imports.

The move followed recommendation by the commerce ministry's investigation arm, Directorate General of Trade Remedies, for continued imposition of the duty for one more year.

The DGTR had in its probe found that the safeguard duty resulted in a decline in solar cell imports in 2018-19. The imports, however, rose between April and September 2019 due to a reduction in the safeguard duty from July 30, 2019.

After considering the findings, the central revenue department in a notification said it is imposing "a safeguard duty" on the product. The department "seeks to continue the levy of safeguard duty on imports of solar cells whether or not assembled in modules or panels for a period of one year, in pursuance of final findings of review investigations issued by DGTR," it said.

A duty of 14.9% will be levied from July 30, 2020, to Jan. 29, 2021, and then 14.5% from Jan. 30, 2021, to July 29, 2021, it added.

Imports of solar cells and modules increased to 9,790 MW in 2017-18 from 6,375 MW in 2016-17. The duties were put in place on July 30, 2018. As a consequence, the import volume came down to 8,010 MW in 2018-19.

India imposed the safeguard duty for the first time on July 30, 2018, for two years. China accounts for nearly 80% of module supplies in India.

The renewable energy ministry has also proposed imposing customs duties on some solar power equipment as part of the country's goal of becoming self-sufficient.

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