Cheaper solar equipment from China are a threat for Indian manufacturers, including Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, the Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Praful Patel informed Lok Sabha today.

Responding to a question on whether the Government is aware of this fact, the Minister while acknowledging the problem said the Chinese dominate the manufacturing segment in the world market, and have a share of about 57 per cent of crystalline technology segment, according to an estimate.

“This is affecting photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers worldwide,” he said adding that, at present, it is estimated that the global production capacity for solar power items/equipment is in excess of the demand globally.

This overcapacity coupled with cheaper Chinese manufactured cells and modules is a threat for Indian solar equipment manufacturers, including BHEL, Patel said.

On the steps taken by the Government, the Ministry said that under the Phase-I of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission to protect the domestic equipment manufacturing industry it was specified that the developers using crystalline silicon technology are required to procure cells and modules locally.

Further, Customs duty exemption is extended on goods required for manufacturing of solar cell and modules. Also all items of machinery required for initial setting up of solar power generation project or facility are fully exempt from excise duty subject to certain conditions. Moreover, such goods enjoy concessional rate of customs duty of five per cent ad valorem.

(This article was published on November 22, 2012)
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