Hearing about solar cell safeguarding duty on Friday

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The Directorate-General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) will on Friday consider whether to extend the safeguarding duty applied on imported solar cells, as requested by domestic manufacturers including Mundra Solar PV, Jupiter Solar Power and Jupiter International, via the Indian Solar Manufacturers Association.

The duty, which has already fallen from 25% to 15% in a staged process, is set to expire late next month.

The petitioning Indian companies are calling for the duty to be extended for four years.

The DGTR examined the application and found prima facie evidence the duty failed to slow the rate of solar cell and module imports and that importers are continuing to undercut their Indian rivals. However, the government body also found the competition has forced Indian manufacturers to reduce production and sales costs, thus increasing sales and reducing losses.

The two-year safeguarding duty on cells and modules imported from China and Malaysia was introduced in July 2018 by the government at a rate of 25%. The duty fell to 20% from July 30 last year and to 15% on January 30. It is due to expire on July 29.