Solar equipment makers in SEZs pitch for equalisation levy

A group of solar energy firms on Friday pitched for an equalisation levy on solar equipment supplies from special economic zones (SEZs) for domestic use to bring them at par with manufacturers in non-SEZ areas. The government is contemplating imposing basic customs duty (BCD) on solar equipment to discourage imports, mainly from China.

Once the BCD is imposed, it would also apply to domestic solar equipment manufacturing units located in SEZs.

The industry is pushing for an equalisation levy of 1-2 per cent on solar equipment supplied to the domestic market from SEZ units, whereas the BCD could be in the range of 15-20 per cent.

The equalisation levy would bring the solar equipment manufacturers in SEZs at par with those in the domestic tariff area (DTA) which have not got the tax and other incentives received by the former, the companies said in a statement.

The companies, which include RenewSys, Webel Soar and Vikram Solar, have units located in SEZs.

“There was an apprehension that manufacturing units located in SEZ have availed certain benefits in past hence if the BCD is not levied while clearing the products from SEZ to DTA, it will put manufacturing units located in DTA at cost disadvantage,” Vikram Solar’s Chief Executive Office Saibaba Vutukuri said in the statement.

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