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India’s solar cells imports down by 74% over last 3 yrs, but China makes up lion’s share

India’s solar cells imports have fallen by a whopping 74 percent over the last three years, but China still accounts for the lion’s share of the country’s total imports
India’s solar cells imports down by 74% over last 3 yrs, but China makes up lion’s share
India’s solar cells imports down by 74% over last 3 yrs, but China makes up lion’s share
  • The value of import of solar cells was US $2,160 mn in FY 2018-19, then it came down to US $1,684 mn in FY 2019-20 before dropping massively to US $572 mn in FY 2020-21
  • In FY 2020-21, out of the total import of US $572 million, China accounted for the largest share at US $494.87 million

New Delhi: India’s solar cells imports have fallen by a whopping 74 percent over the last three years, but China still accounts for the lion’s share of the country’s total imports, data shared by Union Power Minister RK Singh in the Lok Sabha on Thursday showed. In a written response to a question raised in the Lower House of Parliament, Singh said that the value of import of solar cells, whether or not assembled into modules or made up into panels, was US $2,160 million in FY 2018-19, then it came down to US $1,684 million in FY 2019-20 before dropping massively to US $572 million in FY 2020-21.

Solar cells, modules imports from China at US $495 mn in FY 2020-21

In FY 2020-21, out of the total import of US $572 million, China accounted for the largest share at US $494.87 million. Thailand came next, but accounted for imports of solar cells and modules worth US $18.76 million only. Imports from Vietnam were valued at US $14.97 million and from Taiwan at US $11.28 million, data shared by Singh in the Lok Sabha showed.

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Domestic manufacturing of solar cells, modules

Solar PV cells and modules are already being manufactured in the country. In order to give a fillip to domestic manufacturing of solar PV cells and modules and reduce India’s dependence on Chinese imports, the government has imposed a number of tariff and non-tariff barriers, said Singh. Earlier this year, the government approved a Rs 4,500-crore production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for supporting setting up of integrated manufacturing units of high efficiency solar PV modules.

The government has also announced the imposition of Basic Customs Duty (BCD) on import of solar PV cells and modules with effect from April 1, 2022 and mandated domestic content requirement for MNRE schemes like CPSU Scheme Phase-II, PM-KUSUM and Grid-connected Rooftop Solar Programme Phase-II, wherein government subsidy is given.

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