Energetica India has learned that a senior official of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has said that the Government is bound by international agreements in which it has committed not to impose customs duty on products used in solar power generation.
The official said the Ministry has received representations from Indian (module and cell) manufacturers seeking duty protection against cheap imports. The manufacturers allege dumping by the Chinese and selling of modules backed by cheap credit by the Americans.
The official said that his Ministry had not yet sent its recommendations to the Ministry of Finance. He said that the issue was being examined in the MNRE.
He also stressed that the government would “find some way” to protect the local manufacturers. When asked if incentives would be given to the domestic industry, he said “it is being considered.”
Indian solar manufacturers are currently in a turmoil inspite of National Solar Mission and other State programs because most of the demand is being met by imports. Ironically, at a time when the National Solar Mission is being rolled out, domestic companies are struggling for a pie of the market. It is against this backdrop that the local manufacturers have sought protection.