Narendra Taneja, energy expert and national spokesperson for the BJP, observes “it is not smart that India should be dependent upon imports” for its ambitious solar program.
Taneja told BusinessLine that about 40 GW of capacity has already been bid out or in the process of being auctioned. This would involve investments of about the ₹2 lakh crore, majority of which will be for acquiring the solar modules. How long would India be dependent upon other countries for the modules, asks Taneja?
Taneja’s views are in total agreement with the government’s thinking. On Thursday, the Union Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy, R K Singh, told reporters that the government intended to bring in basic customs duty of 25 per cent, which would be raised to 40 per cent next year.
The question of whether to erect tariff walls to enable the Indian manufacturing industry to develop behind them, or to let the Indian solar energy companies benefit from cheap imports of modules, has been a long-standing one.