India has recommended imposing a 25 percent safeguard duty on solar cells from China and Malaysia to protect domestic manufacturers, Bloomberg reports.
The safeguard duty on solar cells in India would be applicable for two years. The tariff would be lowered to 20 percent for the first half of the second year and 15 percent for the second half.
“Imposition of safeguard duty in this case would be in public interest because it will prevent complete erosion of manufacturing base of solar industry in the country,” India’s Directorate General of Trade Remedies, a unit of the commerce ministry, said in a post on its website on Monday.
India, the largest importer of Chinese solar equipment, first proposed a 70 percent safeguard duty in January to protect its local industry. Solar project developers, who rely on overseas components, have countered that the move would jeopardize the nation’s plans to boost its use of renewable energy.
The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy estimated last year that India’s annual solar cell manufacturing capacity of 3 gigawatts means the country can only meet 15 percent of its annual 20 gigawatts of installations required to meet government targets.