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Solar industry body says blanket import duty on solar panels will hurt manufacturers

Power News - Published on Thu, 11 Jan 2018

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Economic Times reported that All India Solar Industries Association, the industry body of domestic solar manufacturers, said it is against imposition of any blanket safeguard duty on import of solar panels and cells citing concerns over the possible negative impact of such a move on domestic solar manufacturers operating in Special Economic Zones. The industry body appealed for a specific anti-dumping duty on imports from China.

Mr Gyanesh Chaudhary, General Secretary of All India Solar Industries Association said that "The SEZ units are treated on par with foreign manufacturers and hence any Safeguard duty will be detrimental to the Indian solar industry as a whole.” AISIA is a 15-member association based in Mumbai.

He added India has 3.1 GW of installed capacity of solar cells out of which 2 GW is situated in SEZs. Also, of the 8.3 GW of solar module manufacturing facilities, 3.8 GW are situated in SEZs. Mr Chaudhary said in a statement that "Hence, the indigenous manufactures situated in SEZs will come under the ambit of any blanket duty that will be imposed on solar cells and modules which will make them uncompetitive.”

Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties had in December initiated a Safeguard investigation on solar cells on a complaint filed by solar representative body Indian Solar Manufacturers Association on behalf of five producers Mundra Solar PV, Jupiter Solar Power Limited, Indosolar Limited, Websol Energy Systems Limited and Helios Photo Voltaic Limited.

Mr Chaudhary added that "The purpose of imposing Safeguard Duty should be to protect the domestic industry from goods which are being dumped at below market prices, but in case of domestic manufacturers situated in SEZs, the levy yields counterproductive results.”

The DGAD had said in a December notification: "The application has been examined and it has been found that prima facie the increased imports of the PUC have caused and are threatening to cause serious injury to the domestic industry of products that are like and directly competitive to the PUC. Accordingly, it has been decided to initiate an investigation through the issue of this Notice."

Under the World Trade Organization framework, a member country can impose a Safeguard Duty if the increased quantity of imports is either an absolute increase or an increase relative to domestic production which is causing serious injury or a threat of serious injury to the domestic industry, according to AISIA. 'Serious injury' is defined as a significant overall impairment in the position of a domestic industry.

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Posted By : Nanda Koijam on Thu, 11 Jan 2018
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