NEW DELHI: India has imposed a 25% safeguard duty on solar cells from China and Malaysia, saying the overseas supplies have caused or threatened “serious injury” to domestic manufacturers.
The safeguard duty will be applicable for two years, India’s Directorate General of Trade Remedies, a unit of of the commerce ministry, said in an order posted on its website yesterday.
The tariff will be lowered to 20% for the first half of the second year and 15% for the second half.
“Imposition of safeguard duty in this case would be in the public interest because it will prevent complete erosion of the manufacturing base of the solar industry in the country,” the DGTR said in the order.
India, the largest importer of Chinese solar equipment, first proposed a 70% safeguard duty in January to protect its local industry. Solar project developers, who rely on overseas components, have countered that the move would jeopardise the nation’s plans to boost its use of renewable energy.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy estimated last year that India’s annual solar cell manufacturing capacity of three gigawatts means the country can only meet 15% of its annual 20 gigawatts of installations required to meet government targets.