30 September 2015 10:05:05 IST

Solar firms revive demand for anti-dumping duty

Express concern over surge in imports

The Indian Solar Manufacturers’ Association has revived its demand for safeguard and anti-dumping duties on imported solar cells and modules.

The Association, a body of companies that produce cells and modules, sent a formal petition to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy on September 18, it is reliably learnt.

The Association has demanded a probe into imports from the EU, US, China, Taiwan and Malaysia, sources said.

The petition comes against the backdrop of a surge in imports of solar cells and modules (cells made into modules). In 2014-15, India imported $ 820.95 million worth of cells and modules, but imports in the first four months of the current fiscal were $381 million, or 46 per cent of imports in entire 2014-15.

Most of the imports are from China. Of last year’s total imports, 73 per cent (or $603 million) came from that country. The trend is holding up. In the current year, the Chinese have sold $283 million worth of solar cells and modules to India, or 74 per cent of total imports.

BusinessLine has learnt that the Association has asked for both safeguard and anti-dumping duties. Safeguard duties are temporary measures to protect the domestic industry against sudden surges in imports. Anti-dumping duties are imposed when the exporters are established to be selling their products below fair market value.

Second attempt It may be recalled that this is the second time that the domestic solar cell manufacturers are taking up the issue of dumping with the government. On an earlier occasion, upon the industry’s petition, the Directorate General of Anti-dumping of the Ministry of Commerce investigated imports from the US, China, Taiwan and Malaysia and determined that there was actually dumping the products. It recommended anti-dumping duties ranging from $0.11 to $0.81 per watt.

It fell upon the new government at the Centre to take a call on it, in May 2014. But the government decided against imposing the duties, but told the domestic manufacturers not to worry.

They would get enough business from government-owned companies who would put up solar projects, the Centre said.