Need to bring solar module exports from Vietnam, Thailand under purview of safeguard duty

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 04, 2019 Published on June 04, 2019

There is a need to bring solar module exports from Vietnam and Thailand under the purview of the existing safeguard duty to protect domestic manufacturers, according to Waaree Energy.

In July last year, India had imposed a 25 per cent safeguard duty on imports of solar cells and modules from China and Malaysia for the first year. The duty is to be scaled down to 20 per cent on such imports for the first six months of the second year and 15 per cent for the remaining half of the year.

Now, domestic solar cell and module manufacturers allege that round-tripping of cheaper Chinese products is happening through Vietnam and Thailand. So, instead of scaling down duties, the domestic industry wants to include exports from these two countries, too, under the purview of the safeguard duty.

Safeguard duties are import levies, over and above existing duties, that are imposed to check a sharp increase in imports of certain items in case it causes a disruption in the domestic market.

“The intention was very good. Unfortunately, people found a way out through Vietnam and Thailand. So, currently, when I go to the market I see the majority of movement of material (of solar modules) is from Taiwan, Thailand and China,” Sunil Rathi, Director – Sales and Marketing at Waaree Energy said.

“We are continuously telling government to get those two countries into the scope of safeguard duty. Once they come up with that, there will be good scope for domestic manufacturers,” he added.

In response to a query if Waaree has moved the Directorate-General of Safeguards for the same, Rathi said, “ISMA (Indian Solar Manufactures Association) is doing this...adding those two will bring a lot of comfort to the industry.”

Waaree Energy currently has 1500 MW of annual solar module manufacturing capacity in the country. The current capacity will be expanded to 2 GW (2000 MW) in another quarter, Rathi said. The company recently announced the commissioning and inauguration of their 49.5 MW ground-mounted solar project in Vietnam.

Published on June 04, 2019
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