Commerce Ministry favours antidumping duty on Solar Cells

The Commerce Ministry favoures the imposition of anti-dumping duty on solar cells. Believes it will boost manufacturing in the country and attract foreign investments in the sector.

This assumes significance as Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and solar power producers are strongly opposing imposition of the duty.

“We believe that imposition of anti-dumping duty will clearly give a signal to the domestic industry to gear up its acts for the future demand make or seek investments in the sector.

“It also opens up opportunities of investments for foreign investors into the solar manufacturing sectors in the country and if we are talking of a long term development of solar manufacturing in this country then this could be a good way of doing it in a perfectly legitimate manner,” Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher told reporters here.

He said that the process of investigation of the duty is statutory and quasi-judicial.

“That investigation process in a detailed manner has gone into the issue and clearly established that there is a dumping on account of solar cells from certain countries and there is a clear case established for imposition of anti-dumping duty,” he added.

The Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) had recommended slapping the restrictive duty on imported solar panels from the US, Malaysia, China and Chinese Taipei to protect domestic manufacturers.

The recommendations came against the backdrop of the US dragging India to the WTO 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.

The Commerce Ministry had suggested restrictive duty in the range of $0.11-0.81 per watt. The levy would be applicable on solar modules and cells assembled partially or fully, originating or exported from the countries mentioned.
To protect the interests of local players, the DGAD had proposed that Chinese imports should attract duties of $ 0.64- 0.81 per watt, while the levy suggested for such cells coming from the US is $0.11-0.48 per watt.