After seven months of intense debate between solar developers opposing the step and domestic solar manufacturers insisting on it, before the Directorate General of Trade Restrictions (DGTR), the DGTR finally decided on Monday that safeguard duty on solar panels and modules imported from China and Malaysia should be imposed for two years – 25% for the first year, 20% for the first six months of the second year and 15% for the remaining six months. It upheld the domestic manufacturers’ contention contention that excessive imports of Chinese and Malaysian solar equipment by developers was causing them serious injury.
Developers seemed resigned to the prospect. “This will push solar tariffs up by about 54 paise a unit in the first year, raising them to well over Rs 3 per unit, from the Rs 2.50-2.75 per unit at present,” said Sunil Jain, managing director, of leading renewable developer firm Hero Future Energies. “But this was expected. At least there is now some clarity.”