11th September 2014
On Wednesday, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said India has decided not to impose anti-dumping duty on imports of solar panels from countries like the U.S. and China.
“There was no notification. We allowed it (the proposal) to lapse,” Ms. Sitharaman, who is also Minister of State for Finance, said when asked about the government’s decision to impose anti-dumping duty on solar cells as recommended by the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD).
DGAD is under the administrative control of the Commerce Ministry. Domestic power firms have been lobbying against the imposition of the duty as the move would have led to rise in equipment cost.
To protect the struggling domestic industry, the Ministry of Commerce in May had recommended imposing a restrictive duty in the range of $0.11-0.81 per watt on solar cells imported from the U.S., China, Malaysia and Chinese Taipei.
The recommendations were against the backdrop of U.S. dragging India to the WTO (World Trade Organisation) with respect to domestic sourcing norms for the national solar mission.
India is of the view that its solar mission — which aims to have 20,000 MW solar capacity by 2022 — is compliant with WTO rules.
Power Minister Piyush Goyal had said domestic solar equipment manufacturing capacity of 700-800 MW is not sufficient to meet the government’s ambitious plans of adding more power generation capacity through renewable energy sources.
Ministry for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari had written to Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman opposing plan to levy of anti-dumping duty, saying this would escalate the cost of solar power in the country.
Current installed solar capacity of the country exceeds 2,600 MW.