The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has said that the Ministry of Finance has agreed to impose a basic customs duty of 40 per cent and 25 per cent respectively, on imported solar modules and cells starting April 2022.
In a memo dated March 9 circulated to all stakeholders, the MNRE said, “The Ministry of Finance has also advised that the customs notification in this regard shall be issued at appropriate time.”
The Covid-19 pandemic brought disruptions in the international trade including imports of solar modules and solar cells, affecting solar capacity addition in the country, the memo read. “Considering India’s huge solar targets and that electricity is a strategic sector of the economy, India needs to develop domestic solar manufacturing capacity and reduce its dependence on imports to avoid disruptions in future,” it said.
MNRE had been asking for a duty for over a year as a protectionist measure to raise the competitiveness of the domestic solar manufacturing industry, which is nascent at present.