Secretary Bhupinder Singh Bhalla clarifies stance, emphasizes need for increased domestic production and competitiveness
In a recent interview with CNBC TV18, Bhupinder Singh Bhalla, the Secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), has clarified the government’s stance on import duty cuts for solar Photovoltaic (PV) modules. Bhalla emphasized that there are currently no proposals to reduce import duties until enough domestic capacities are established.
Bhalla highlighted the government’s Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for solar PV modules, which is expected to result in an additional production capacity of over 48 Giga-Watt (GW) by 2026. He emphasized that India should aim for a solar PV module capacity of at least 70 to 75 GW by that time.
The Secretary explained that once India achieves sufficient local production, the need for imports will naturally decrease. However, Bhalla emphasized that the question of reducing import duties will only be considered when domestically produced solar PV modules become efficient and competitive enough to withstand global competition.
While addressing concerns regarding reducing basic customs duty on solar cells, Bhalla clarified that the focus is currently on building additional capacities for solar cells in India, as the domestic capacity for solar cells is considerably lower than that for modules.
Bhalla also acknowledged the challenges faced by companies involved in setting up local production capacities, including issues related to visa delays and denials from countries that provide technology for solar power utilization. He assured that the MNRE would write to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) after receiving formal requests with specific details.
Last week, the MNRE conducted meetings with all beneficiaries of both tranches of the PLI schemes. Bhalla assured that the ministry is committed to supporting these projects and resolving any genuine difficulties they may be facing.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) remains dedicated to promoting domestic production and capacity building in the solar PV sector. Their focus is on achieving self-sufficiency and competitiveness in the industry, while also addressing challenges faced by companies through effective coordination with other ministries.
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