Industry Body AISIA Urges Govt to Impose 50% BCD on Solar Imports

In order to ensure survival of domestic manufacturers in the country, Industry body All India Solar Industries Association (AISIA) has urged the government to impose at least 50 per cent basic custom duty (BCD) on import of solar equipments.

August 21, 2020. By Manu Tayal

In order to ensure survival of domestic manufacturers in the country, Industry body All India Solar Industries Association (AISIA) has urged the government to impose at least 50 per cent basic custom duty (BCD) on import of solar equipments.

AISIA in a statement said that following the coronavirus-related disruption, the Indian solar manufacturing sector has witnessed a major downfall with exports witnessing a decline.

“AISIA urges the government of India for immediate implementation of BCD for sustenance,” AISIA said.

It further added that, this is also the time when the government can further give impetus to the Prime Minister’s Vocal for Local movement and help the local manufacturers strengthen their position in the domestic market.

While Safeguard Duty and the recent decision by the government to provide land near ports to set up manufacturing units has been a step in the right direction, solar manufacturers are imploring for an immediate respite, it added.

Speaking on the matter, Hitesh Doshi, Chairman of AISIA said quoted PTI that “the survival of manufacturers requires the government to look into restructuring of existing policies like implementation of at least 50 per cent BCD, ALMM (Approved List of Models and Manufacturers); without which the future of the domestic solar module manufacturers seem bleak and dwindling.”

The country's dependency on China for solar imports in FY20, was recorded at imports worth USD 1.3 billion.

This shows the potential the sector holds for the domestic manufacturers to contribute to the GDP, should the focus be shifted towards enabling the domestic players, Doshi said adding that the weaning off dependency on China and other international markets will also save foreign exchange.

The body also said that, provision for pass through or grandfathering for imports of modules does not give options to buy solar modules from local manufacturers.

‘Grandfathering’ is a provision in which an old rule continues to apply to some existing situations while a new rule will apply to all future cases.

“So far more than 32,000 MW PPA (power purchase agreement) are allotted for which approx 45,000 MM modules will be imported in next three years if the same benefits are given to local manufacturers, we will not save thousands of jobs but huge foreign exchange also,” it said.

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