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Solar industry body urges government to implement basic customs duty immediately

V Rishi Kumar Hyderabad | Updated on August 20, 2020

The solar industry body sees this as an opportunity for the government to give impetus to the Prime Minister’s ‘Vocal for Local’ movement

The All India Solar Industries Association has called upon the government and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to review some policy issues dogging the sector while making out a case to implement basic customs duty (BCD).

With Covid-19 shaking up the entire world and businesses, the Indian solar manufacturing sector has witnessed a major downfall with exports coming down. The Association sees this as an opportunity for the government to give impetus to the Prime Minister’s ‘Vocal for Local’ movement and help the local manufacturers strengthen their position in the domestic market.

While safeguard duty and the recent decision by the government to provide land near ports to set up manufacturing units has been a step in the right direction, solar manufacturers are imploring for an immediate respite.

Therefore, it has become imperative for the government to revisit existing policies to optimise capability of the domestic players that have been at the receiving end of the perils of the pandemic.

Hitesh Doshi, Chairman, All India Solar Industries Association, said: “The survival of the manufacturers requires the government to look into restructuring of existing policies like implementation of at least 50 per cent BCD, ALMM (Approved List of Models and Manufacturers); without which the future of the domestic solar module manufacturers seem bleak and dwindling.”

“The country’s dependency on China for solar imports in FY20, was recorded at imports worth $1.3 billion. This shows the potential the sector holds for the domestic manufacturers to contribute to the GDP, should the focus be shifted towards enabling the domestic players. Additionally, weaning off dependency on China and other international markets will also save foreign exchange,” he said.

The provision for pass through or grandfathering for imports of modules does not give options to buy solar modules from local manufacturers. So far more than 32000 MW PPAs are allotted for which about 45000 MW modules will be imported in next three years if the same benefits are given to local manufacturers we will not save thousands of jobs but huge foreign exchange also.

“Developers will have the option to buy from India and Indian manufacturers will survive. Thus, on behalf of All India Solar Industries Association, it is a humble request to the government of India and our honourable MNRE to implement the much-needed BCD at the earliest with immediate effect for the revival of the sector. Along with other measures,” he said.

The association hopes the government will intervene and provide the required aid aiding the growth and development of the sector and paving a path to penetrate the global market.

Published on August 20, 2020

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