Waaree Praises PLI but Says Indian PV Manufacturers Facing Challenges

Mumbai-headquartered solar PV module manufacturer Waaree Group has expressed appreciation for the government’s recently announced Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme and has highlighted the challenges currently facing Indian manufacturers of solar power generation equipment.

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Chairman and Managing Director Hitesh Doshi believes that the PLI scheme will boost the country’s manufacturing sector, which is paramount today. He points out that even though India is the third largest solar market in the world, the country imports over 85% of its panel requirements. Relying on imports is not feasible anymore due to foreign exchange as well as concerns of losing huge opportunities of employment. “Hence, this is a great welcome step and it will benefit our country in many ways,” he said.

Doshi considers it a particularly tough time to be a manufacturer in India today as import duty on raw materials and cost of shipping have threatened the future of manufacturing in the country. In a statement to the company, he explained, “For Indian solar module manufacturers to expand their capacities, they need to sustain, which looks difficult at the moment. There will be no duty barriers for imports of solar modules from the date of Safeguard Duty expiry to the date of implementation of Basic Customs Duty while duties on import of raw materials will continue to exist.” He also said that this nine month period would have a crippling effect on domestic manufacturers, which may also lead to a shutdown of units in India and risk 300,000 jobs. Until the BCD comes into force, he cautioned, some steps need to be implemented to aid the sustenance of domestic manufacturers.

While the Chairman appreciated the PLI guidelines’ potential to boost manufacturing of high efficiency indigenous PV solar modules and to generate employment opportunities, he added that to completely wean off imports, the allocated funds under the scheme are quite meagre and capacities expected to generate with this amount will be very less. He believes that sanctioning more funds would allow the manufacturers to set up more units which will definitely help in contributing to the country’s GDP.

Apart from being the largest domestic manufacturer of the country, Waaree also provides EPC services, project development, rooftop solutions, and solar water pumps, and employs over 2,500 people globally across 350 locations nationally and 68 countries internationally. It owns the largest solar panel module manufacturing facility in India with a capacity of 2 GW.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.