New Delhi: Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy RK Singh has said that the usage of domestically produced solar gear will raise the unit price of power only by 2-5 paise, which not deter buyers. The statement comes in the backdrop of the government's decision to tighten the noose around imports from China as part of an economic response to the India-China standoff and give preference to domestically-produced goods.
Singh asserted that consumers would be ready to pay more for power 'Made in India.' "We are ready to pay more for power made in India. Whatever the difference is, around 2 to 5 paise, Indians would be happy to pay that," said the minister while speaking at a webinar organised by the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry). He added that the development of renewable energy projects along with storage capacity will help reduce the import of fossil fuels.
"Earlier, foreign companies were dumping their solar panels and other equipment here. We had to impose a safeguard duty to discourage that," said Singh. Commenting on renewable energy project developers regarding projects signed before the announcement of the imposition of 25 percent BCD (Basic Customs Duty) on imported solar gear, the minister said that agreements signed before the BCD imposition date of August 1 would be exempted. He added that he has reached out to the Ministry of Finance to get an approval in this regard.
The minister added that if the Revenue Department does not agree to approving an exemption for projects signed before August 1, he would push the idea of a "grandfather clause." Under this clause, renewable energy developers, who have signed PPAs before August 1, would be able to claim reimbursements on the duty they have paid on imported solar power equipment from China. "We know that the sanctity of project times and payment structures have not been maintained, and will solve them," Singh said.
The statement comes just days after ReNew Power announced that it plans to open a 2,000 MW manufacturing unit in the country. The proposed unit is expected to generate 2,000 jobs. The government earlier this month announced several measures to discourage imports in the RE sector, where 80 percent of the requirement for power gear is met from China. The government plans to impose a 25 percent BCD on solar imports from China and is set to raise it to 40 percent within a year.
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