Macro Economy

FinMin defers safeguard duty on solar cells

ksenia kondratieva Mumbai | Updated on August 13, 2018

The Ministry of Finance, on Monday, issued a notice to the Customs’ authorities to defer the 25 per cent safeguard duty imposed on solar cells and modules following a directive from the Orissa High Court.

The notice comes after the Orissa High Court, last week, directed the Ministry to withdraw its safeguard duty notification by August 13, as the court had earlier issued a stay order until August 20 and the Ministry’s notification was against the order.

“In compliance with the interim directions issued by the High Court of Orissa, it has been decided not to insist on payment of safeguard duty, for the time being,” the letter from Department of Revenue of Ministry of Finance, seen by BusinessLine, says.

“Accordingly, till further direction from the Board, the said goods, namely solar cells whether or not assembled in modules or panels would, in respect of said safeguard duty, be assessed provisionally on furnishing of simple letter of undertaking or bond by the concerned person,” the letter adds.

The Finance Ministry had, on July 30, announced a levy of a 25 percent safeguard duty on solar cells and modules imported from China and Malaysia based on the final recommendations proposed by the Directorate-General of Trade Remedies (DGTR). Despite a stay from the Orissa High Court, the duty of 25 per cent was levied for a period of one year, followed by 20 per cent duty for the next six months and 15 per cent duty for another six month.

After the duty was notified, solar developers Hero Future Energies and ACME Solar as well as Kolkata-based module manufacturer Vikram Solar filed fresh petitions against imposition of the duty in the Orissa High Court.

Published on August 13, 2018

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