MNRE Extends Commissioning Date of GST Affected Solar Projects

The extension to the project developers was provided by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), and other implementing agencies.

Goods and Service Tax

After the frictions faced by multiple developers due to the imposition of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and other related issues, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has issued an order to give an extension to the commissioning date (COD) of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects.

The extension of two months has been given by the Ministry to those which could have been affected due to the disruption. The extension to the project developers was provided by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), and other implementing agencies.

The order of the Ministry says the project developers who have been affected by GST are directed to formally write an application to the SECl/ NTPC/ other implementing agencies for extension of time.

i) The principles to follow for the extension process for the eligible developers are:

a)     The disruptions due to GST imposition would have occurred for two months i.e. 62 days from the date of imposition of GST i.e. from 1/7/17 to 31/8/17.

b)     Only those projects would have faced the above disruptions, which, during the two month period from 1/7/17, were at a stage between the Financial Closure and COD.

(ii) For being eligible for an extension, the effective Financial Closure date and the COD will be determined as follows:

a)     For purpose of Financial Closure, the Scheduled Financial Closure Date (SFC) or the actual Financial Closure Date (AFC), whichever is later would be taken into consideration.

b)     For CoD purposes, the Scheduled Commissioning Date (SCOD) would be taken into consideration.

iii) Applying the above principles, following situations for the extension would arise:

a)     Per MNRE, an extension of two months (62 days) may be eligible for projects having a date of actual financial closure (AFC) or scheduled financial closure (SFC) whichever was later, before July 1, 2017, and having COD after August 31, 2017.

b)     In case of a project for which the date of AFC or SFC was July 1, 2017, or later, the eligible extension gets reduced by the number of days where AFC/SFC was after June 30, 2017.

c)     In case of a project for which the COD was on or before August 31, 2017, the eligible extension gets reduced by the number of days such COD was before September 1, 2017.

d)     In case of a project in which the situation existing both at (B) and (C) above are applicable; the full extension period will be reduced both to the extent where AFC/SFC (whichever is later) is after June 30, 2017, and COD is before September 1, 2017.

f)     In addition to above, if any separate extension has already been given (or is being given) to a project, for any reason other than GST induced disruption which existed during this period of business disruption between July 1, 2017, and August 31, 2017, then, in order to avoid giving double relief for the same period, the extension would be reduced to the extent to which the extension period granted due to the other reason overlaps with the extension period granted for the reason of GST induced disruption.

g)     All the Project developers who claim to have been affected by GST induced disruptions shall make a formal application to SECl/ NTPC/ other implementing agencies for Extension of Time (EoT) due to GST disruptions giving all documentary evidence in support of their claim. SECl/ NTPC/ Implementing agencies shall examine the claim objectively and grant EoT based on facts, following above principles. While applying the above principles, SECl/NTPC/any other implementing agency may satisfy itself that the claimants were actually affected due to GST induced disruptions in the period for which extension has been claimed. The implementing agencies shall also ensure that no double relief is granted due to overlapping reasons cited for grant of EoT.

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