Apex Court allows government to implement safeguard duty on solar cells and modules

The Supreme Court of India on Monday allowed the government to impose safeguard duty on imported solar cells and modules. Through this order the court has nullified Orissa High Court’s stay order on the imposition of the levy.

According ET the Orissa High Court will continue to hear a petition filed against the safeguard duty, but there will be no stay on imposing it. If the high court upholds the petition and rules against the safeguard duty, the amount collected from importers will be refunded, they said.

Ministry of Finance moved to the Supreme Court looking for relief from the stay order by the Orissa High Court.

The DGTR recommended imposition of safeguard duty on solar cells and modules imported from China and Malaysia in mid-July. It suggested 25% for the first year, 20% for the first six months of the second year and 15% for the remaining six months.

The Orissa High Court stayed the imposition of the duty until August 20 after Acme Solar Holdings opposed it. The finance ministry then instructed customs officials not to insist on payment of safeguard duty, but to take a bond for the same amount while the stay was in force.