Such safeguard duty on solar equipment could also kill thousands of job created from the down-stream activities of solar power generation including the manufacturing sector.
The Solar Power Developers Association (SPDA) has sought complete exemption of safeguard duty on solar equipment for ongoing project.
It believes that such a move can jeopardise investments worth Rs 1 lakh crore and kill thousands of jobs.
This statement comes as recently the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has recommended safeguard duty imposition on imports of solar cells/modules in phased manner for two years in the country i.e. 25 percent in first year, 20 percent in the first six months of second year and 15 percent in the last six months of second year.
In a letter to the Commerce Secretary, the SPDA said, “Such recommendations on safeguard could jeopardise availability of low cost energy to the consumers, making the investments of more than Rs 1 lakh crore unviable.”
It further added that, such safeguard duty on solar equipment could also kill thousands of job created from the down-stream activities of solar power generation including the manufacturing sector.
The SPDA pleaded to the board to protect ongoing solar energy projects (wherever bids concluded) with complete exemptions from the imposition of any safeguard duty.
According to the solar industry body, the viability of around 27,000 MW projects involving the investment of more than Rs 1 lakh crore is at stake as the cost of these projects will be additionally burdened by 20 per cent with present recommendations on safeguard.
Consequently, entire solar mission will lose its objective endangering thousands of jobs, many interdependent MSMEs catering their goods and services to this sector and finally turning these projects into NPAs (bad loans), as per SPDA.
The SPDA pointed out that in the conclusion of the final findings on safeguard duty on solar equipment, the DGTR has also highlighted that “there will be impact on solar power developers and also on ultimate consumers as a result of safeguard duty on the product under consideration (solar equipment).”