India’s import dependence for meeting its solar equipment demand was more than 90 per cent in past three financial years, Parliament was informed today.
“As per the Report dated July 16, 2018, from Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR), the quantum of imported solar cells/ modules is around 90 per cent,” Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha today.
According to the reply, India met 92.11 per cent requirement of its solar equipment through imports in 2017-18 while the proportion was 91.57 per cent and 95.31 per cent in 2016-17 and 2015-16 respectively.
Referring to the report, the minister further said, “imports of solar cells/ modules PUC are taking place at very low prices resulting in drop in sales realisation of domestic industry thereby hampering the domestic industry’s ability to compete and make and sell the solar cells/ modules. However, this report has not commented on the issue of dumping.”
The value of solar cells/photovoltaic cells whether or not assembled in module/panel, imported from China jumped to USD 3.41 billion in 2017-18 from USD 596.73 million in 2013-14, the minister informed.
The minster also told the House that the DGTR in its report has recommended imposition of safeguard duty on imports of solar cells/ modules into India for a period of two years which would be 25 per cent ad valorem in first year, 20 per cent ad valorem in the first half of second year and 15 per cent ad valorem subsequently.
The minster also said that the DGTR in its report has noted that levy of Safeguard duty would not only lead to mitigation of serious injury to the domestic solar cell/ module manufacturers but would also improve viability of the upstream and downstream industry associated in the value chain of the manufacturing of solar cells /modules.
In a separate reply to the House on domestic component policy, the minister said, “In few schemes under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), a provision of Domestic Content Requirement (DCR) of solar cells and modules was made with an aim to promote local industry.”
He further said,”The United States of America (USA) represented against India on this policy of DCR in World Trade Organization (WTO). India lost the case. The Government appealed against the decision, which was also not considered favourably by the Appellate Body (AB) of WTO. Accordingly, provision of DCR has been stopped.”