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Domestic solar panel makers seek new anti-dumping petition

PW Bureau

Domestic solar panel makers had filed the petition for anti-dumping investigation against China, Malaysia and Taiwan in 2017      New Delhi: India’s domestic solar panel makers will consider a new anti-dumping petition with an objective to protect the solar manufacturing market from imports coming from China. According to an industry executive, the measures implemented under the earlier petition were not able to provide enough relief. India imports around 90 percent of its solar equipment from China and Malaysia. The Finance Ministry had approved Directorate General of Trade Remedies’ recommendation in July to impose up to 25 percent safeguard duty on imported solar modules and panels. Domestic manufacturers, under the banner of Indian Solar Manufacturers’ Association, had filed the petition for anti-dumping investigation against China, Malaysia and Taiwan in 2017. The petition was eventually withdrawn. “I definitely feel anti-dumping is the right approach for manufacturers. But yes, it’s something we are deliberating as an industry,” Gyanesh Chaudhary, managing director at Vikram Solar, said.

No relief because of Safeguard duty

Vikram Solar, one of the country’s top solar module manufacturers, claims the safeguard duty has not given relief as developers have been allowed to pass on the additional costs to discoms. “Because of safeguard duty, we have taken almost a 15 percent hit on our capacity utilisation, because projects have been stalled, decisions have been delayed and while the numbers say Chinese imports have stopped, that’s mainly because projects have been stalled or delayed,” Chaudhary said.

Fresh anti-dumping investigation expected

Industry experts believed that fresh anti-dumping investigation was expected. “If that happens, it will be another source of continued uncertainty for a long period of time. It shows that until there is a permanent solution to this whole Make in India campaign, this uncertainty will always be lingering over the sector,” said Vinay Rustagi, managing director at Bridge to India.