Solar panel spin-off for India-China and India-US ties

Solar PanelAhead of the maiden visit by China’s President Xi Jinping to India, and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to the United States, New Delhi has decided against imposition the Anti-dumping Duty (ADD) on solar panel imports, a move that will be welcomed by Washington and Beijing.

“There was no notification. We allowed it (the proposal) to lapse,” said India’s Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on September 11 when asked about the government’s decision to impose anti-dumping duty on solar cells as recommended by the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD).

The decision will go down well with both Washington and Beijing, which are eyeing India’s burgeoning market for clean energy.

In May 2014, before the Modi government took office, India’s domestic solar manufacturers recommended that the government impose an anti-dumping duty on solar panels imported from the US, China, Malaysia and Chinese Taipei.

ADD would have meant an additional $0.11-0.81 per watt on solar cells being imported making it more expensive. This was in response to the February, 2014 move by the US to drag India to the WTO on domestic sourcing norms for the national solar mission.

The move against ADD, experts say, will give a new push to the growing Indian market. Not imposing ADD will boost India’s national solar mission, which was introduced in 2011, and aims to have solar capacity of 20,000 MW by 2022.

On September 11, India’s Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal said the anti-dumping law could have increased costs and been detrimental to the government’s solar mission.

“All the stake holders, after withdrawing the demand for anti-dumping duty on solar panels, held a meeting and have discussed the way to take forward solar mission.”  He added: “The duty would have killed the solar mission.”

India has targeted to increase it solar power capacity to 20,000 MW by 2022 from 2,600 MW today.

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