January 5 (Renewables Now) - India is mulling over the introduction of a tax of 7.5% on photovoltaic (PV) panel imports for future solar projects in the country, Bloomberg reports, citing unnamed government officials.
A request by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to exempt from such a tax projects that have already been awarded has also been taken into account by the finance ministry, the report says. There is not final decision yet.
According to Mercom Capital Group, China accounted for 88% of all solar module and cell imports in India in the first nine months of 2017. The total Chinese volume for that period amounted to USD 2.9 billion (EUR 2.4bn), up from USD 1.7 billion a year ago. Import activity increased by 67% between the first nine months of 2016 and of 2017.
A separate article in the New Indian Express says the solar imports duty could be of 7%-7.5%. The daily newspaper is citing an unnamed official as saying that such a decision would eventually allow the Indian solar sector to cut its dependence on Chinese imports and stimulate local manufacturing.
The Indian government in December proposed various measures to grow domestic PV manufacturing. It wants the country to eventually have capacities to produce the raw material polysilicon, ingots, wafers, cells and modules.