ISMA’s demand for duty on PV cells import to impact solar cells market

The ISMA (Indian Solar Manufacturers Association) has reportedly put forth a demand to impose safeguard duty on the imports of solar cells and modules. ISMA claims that the demand, if fulfilled soon enough, is likely to prove lucrative for solar cells market and the solar manufacturing industry as a whole.

ISMA has apparently penned a letter to the Commerce Minister, extending its support for the recommendation by the Directorate General of Safeguards. For the record, the DGS states that 70% of safeguard duty must be levied on the imports of PV cells and modules. Incidentally, it is mandatory for the DGS to detect the existence of any ‘serious injury’ to the domestic industry on account of the increased imports of any product into India.

According to ISMA’s letter, not imposing import duty would have an impact not only on the solar cells market but also on the economy of the country, given the nature of solar power in India and the necessity to import solar products from China. ISMA also submitted its research to the central government, outlining recommendations with regards to the amount and the duration of import duty.

As per sources, ISMA says that this recommendation about the duty amount on imports is based on a detailed analysis of the costs and negative impact that the domestic industry has been enduring. The association’s letter apparently cites ways to detect a rise in solar power tariffs due to the duty imposition. Additionally, the association affirms that imposing the safeguard duty will not lead to a major increase in the solar power tariff. In fact, the extra duty collected can be reinvested in solar power industry, it claims.

For the uninitiated, solar cells industry biggies are known to import solar cells mainly from Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, and China.