Following an application made by domestic manufacturers, the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) under the commerce ministry has initiated a probe to examine the need for continuing with the imposition of safeguard duty on solar cells, whether or not assembled into modules.
An application seeking continued imposition of the said duty for a further period of four years was filed by Mundra Solar PV, Jupiter Solar Power and Jupiter International, through the Indian Solar Manufacturers Association (ISMA), to protect the domestic producers from the injury caused by such increased imports.
Having examined the application, the DGTR found a prima facie evidence that imports of solar cells and modules in India continued at increased levels despite imposition of safeguard duty; the domestic industry is adjusting positively in terms of reduced cost of sales, increased production & sales and lowered losses; and imports still continue to undercut and suppress the prices of domestic manufacturers leading to lower realization and thereby continued financial losses.
On the basis of the prima facie evidence submitted by the domestic industry, the DGTR has initiated a review investigation to examine the need for continued imposition of safeguard duty.
Period of investigation
The period of investigation for the present probe will extend from April 2016 to September 30, 2019.
This “period is long enough to take into consideration the market conditions and other factors that are relevant for ascertaining the need for continued imposition of safeguard duty,” the DGTR notification read.
In July 2018, based on DGTR recommendations the Indian government levied a safeguard duty of 25% on solar cell and module imports from China and Malaysia for two years.
As per the notification of the finance ministry, a 25% safeguard duty was imposed between July 30, 2018 and July 29, 2019. This gradually comes down to 20% between July 30, 2019 and January 29, 2020, and finally 15% between January 30, 2020 and July 29, 2020.
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