The commerce ministry has recently initiated an anti-dumping investigation against the import of solar cells from China, Thailand and Vietnam.
- The notice issued by the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) said that prima facie evidence of dumping was found against the aforementioned product of the above countries, leading to injury to the domestic industry.
- The investigation was triggered by an application by the Indian Solar Manufacturers’ Association (ISMA).
- The investigation is against the import of solar cells from these countries.
- The solar cells are the basic ingredients in the manufacturing of solar modules.
- The solar cells that are being imported from China are 15% to 20% less expensive as compared to that of the solar cells produced in India.
- This is affecting the business of solar modules produced using locally available raw materials.
- Ultimately it is increasing the price of domestic solar modules.
- A similar anti-dumping investigation against the import of solar cells from China, Taiwan and Malaysia was initiated by the government in July, 2017 but was eventually called off in March, 2018 on ISMA’s request.
- To boost domestic manufacturing, the Government of India (GoI) had imposed a 25% safeguard duty on solar imports from China and Malaysia in July 2018 for two years, which was extended to July 2021, at a rate of 15%.
- After the imposition of this safeguard duty, the imports from Thailand and Vietnam have increased.
- Between FY18 and FY20, the import of solar cells from Thailand and Vietnam grew at 5,750% and 800% respectively.
Reason for Investigation:
The solar cell and solar module imports will attract a customs duty of 25% and 40% respectively from 2023. With the safeguard duty against Chinese imports of solar cells ending in July 2021, there will be no import barriers.