Happy Times for Borosil Renewables As Duty on Solar Glass Imports Notified

India’s Ministry of Finance has formally notified the levy of a countervailing duty (CVD) on the cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) value on the imports of textured and tempered (whether coated or uncoated) glass from Malaysia. the move follows a recommendation from the country’s DGTR (Directorate General of Trade Remedies) in December last year, when it had recommended a 9.71 percent CVD following a complaint by Borosil Renewables Limited. Borosil is the country’s biggest glass maker for the solar industry.

It had filed an application before the DGTR for the imposition of countervailing duty on imports of textured toughened (tempered) glass from Malaysia, alleging that the producers of tempered glass in Malaysia had benefitted from subsidies provided at various levels by the government of Malaysia and other public bodies.

Interestingly, there has been a global shortage of solar glass for some time now, and Borosil itself has been a big beneficiary, turning around from losses to solid profits recently, and has also see its stock price shoot up. The latest notification from the Ministry of Finance will do much to give strength to the new found levels of the firms stock price. the firm has also announced major capacity expansion plans.

The CVD imposed under the notification would be applicable for five years (unless revoked) from the date of publication in the Official Gazette and would be payable in Indian currency.

The notification states that the duty is applicable if:

  • The tempered glass has been exported to India from Malaysia at subsidized prices
  • The domestic industry has suffered material injury due to the subsidization of tempered glass
  • The material injury has been caused by the subsidized imports of the tempered glass originating in or exported from Malaysia.

For the Indian solar manufacturing industry, duties will play a decisive role in terms of survival or profitability, thanks to the high competition from China in general, and Malaysia in this case, for solar glass. Some level of protection has been accepted as necessary to ensure self sufficiency for the country in the sector.

The largest industry grouping, for solar modules, is already looking forward to better times by the end of this year, as the order cycle for modules by then has to take into account the expected hike in Basic customs Duties to 40 percent on them from early next year.

The union budget has already increased the duty on a third vital component, solar inverters, from 5 to 25 percent.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International

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