FinMin Issues New Instruction – Solar Cell Safeguard Duty Put On Hold

Looking into recent stay order by Odisha High court and uproar in the solar industry, Ministry of Finance has issued a new instruction on the implementation of safeguard duty.

The ministry said that the government has decided not to insist on payment of safeguard duty for the time being.

Finance Ministry notes that the imported solar cells and modules will be assessed provisionally on furnishing a simple letter of undertaking /bond by the concerned person

The ministry also said that if difficulty is faced, the same should be brought to the notice of the board.

A day before the Finance ministry’s issue of instruction, Madras High Court allowed Shapoorji Pallonji Infrastructure to collect its delivery of panels from overseas released by customs officials without paying the safeguard duty.

The company has been asked to execute a bond for the amount due and will have to pay the duty if the notification imposing the levy is upheld.

Shapoorji Pallonji moved to the court seeking to quash the demand by customs for payment of safeguard duty on its consignment. The company said the notification was “illegal and arbitrary” since there was an interim order of the Odisha high court restraining the passing of any notification on the matter.