Power ministry seeks review of anti-dumping levy on solar gear

The union power ministry has sought a review of the proposal to impose anti-dumping duty on import of solar panels in view of the acute shortage of power and the country's inability to make available solar power equipment to fully harness the sun's energy at affordable costs.

Power minister Piyush Goyal said import of solar power equipment will be needed in the immediate future until at least such time as the country acquires sufficient capacity needed to support the country's requirements.

He said his ministry has mover the commerce and finance ministries to have a re-look into the recommendations of the report suggesting impost of countervailing duty on imports of solar gear.

''India does not have adequate manufacturing capacity to support the kind of thrust we want to give to solar. Therefore, we have appealed to them to take a view," Goyal said.

"It is a short-term view since we are also looking at expanding the (solar) manufacturing base in the future," he added.

Last month, the commerce ministry recommended levying anti-dumping duty on solar cells from the US, Malaysia, China and Chinese Taipei and the finance ministry has to take a final view on the levy to discourage imports.

The commerce ministry recommended impost of a countervailing duty in the range of $0.11 to $0.81 per watt to protect the interests of domestic manufacturers from cheap solar cells being dumped into India at the end of a probe that lasted one and a half years (See: Commerce ministry proposes steep dumping duty on solar cells).

Power producers, however, have been pressing the government against anti-dumping measures as they felt it would block access to cheaper solar power equipment.

India has set an ambitious target of adding 20,000 MW of grid-connected solar power capacity by 2022. The country's current installed solar capacity is just over 2,600 MW.