Economy

Anti-dumping investigation initiation on solar cell import from China now in High Court

Shishir Sinha New Delhi | Updated on June 06, 2021

Delhi HC directs DGTR to extend feedback deadline till after next hearing on July 19

Initiation of anti-dumping investigation on import of solar cells from China, Thailand and Vietnam has been challenged in Delhi High Court.

The Court has directed the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) to extend the due date for filing responses to a date after July 19, the next date of hearing of the petition filed by the Solar Power Developers Association. The DGTR deadline was June 26 previously.

‘No stay’

Though the Court has not stayed the notice, this comes at a time when the term of extended safeguard duty (being imposed since 2018) comes to an end next month. Solar cells in this context include whether or not assembled into modules or panels.

Last July, the Finance Ministry had extended the safeguard duty by one more year as recommended by DGTR. Accordingly, safeguard duty rate of 14.90 per cent is imposed on solar cells and modules starting for the first six months from July 30 (minus anti-dumping duty payable, if any) and 14.50 per cent for the subsequent six months (from January 30, 2021 to July 29, 2021).

Safeguard duty and anti-dumping duty are levied over and above custom duty. Safeguard duty is levied if it can be conclusively proved that a steep increase in imports over a period of time resulted in injury and disruption for local businesses and anti-dumping duty provides relief to the domestic industry against the injury caused by dumping.

Initiation notification

Based on the application from Indian Solar Manufacturers Association, DGTR issued initiation notification on May 15. The applicant alleged that material injury is being caused to the domestic industry due to dumped imports of solar cells originating in or exported from China, Thailand and Vietnam.

However, the petitioner, developers association before the High Court, submitted “Such a course shall cause grave injury to the solar power generation and development industry. Promotion of inefficiencies of one industry should not be allowed to adversely affect the other user industry. Moreover, largely solar modules of new/updated technologies are being imported now while the solar cells of the specified applicants are of different technology.”

Solar power developers prayed for quashing the investigation initiation essentially on grounds of non-satisfaction of statutory condition precedents. After the hearing on May 4, the Court issued notices to the Centre and DGTR. It also allowed the Domestic Industry to be included as a Party Respondent.

 

Published on June 06, 2021

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