Can Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan help India's solar manufacturing sector? |  ORF

India plans to impose new tariffs on imports of solar cells and modules from 1 April 2022, power and renewable energy minister Raj Kumar Singh said.

The finance ministry will issue an order to impose a basic customs duty of 40% on modules and 25% on solar cells as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India strategy, Singh said in an interview. The customs duty will replace a 15% safeguard duty that is being imposed on imports from China and Malaysia.

Such a move will make solar cells and modules imported from China expensive and is being seen as part of an economic response to the violent face-off with China along the Ladakh border. Along with leveraging its growing green energy market to boost manufacturing, India is looking to play a larger role in global supply chains.

“Earlier we said it will be imposed from next year. From 2021—that’s the way we had sent the trajectory,” Singh said in an interview.

While the budget had okayed an enabling mechanism for imposing a basic customs duty of 20% on cells and modules, challenges related to adequate domestic production capacity and how clean energy projects that have been bid out based on lower equipment costs will be treated prompted the Centre to rethink the plan. There were also discussions about whether the duty will be compliant with World Trade Organization rules.

The market for solar components is dominated by Chinese firms. A surge in imports prompted the government to impose a safeguard duty from 30 July 2018 on solar cells and modules imported from China and Malaysia. The safeguard duty, which was set to expire on 29 July, has been extended by a year.

 

Source: Live Mint