India transport minister, Nitin Gadkari, has written a letter to a fellow cabinet minister opposing the proposed anti-dumping duties on US, Chinese and Malaysian solar imports.
At the end of May India’s government published its recommended anti-dumping duties.
According to The Hindu, Gadkari wrote the letter against anti-dumping duties to his counterpart in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sitharaman.
Sitharaman is also the head of the Ministry of Finance and Corporate Affairs, which has until 22 Aug to decide on the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) recommended duties.
According to The Hindu, Gadkari’s letter says duties would “escalate” solar costs by 100% and domestic manufacturers should instead receive a government subsidy to bolster the struggling industry.
As the duties were published before Modi’s election win, developer Welspun has said the duties are against Modi’s ‘solar vision’.
As part of Modi’s campaign, he advocated solar power to empower people and mitigate corruption, while warning of the economic dangers of relying on imported coal.
Project developer Welspun predicts the anti-dumping measures could force 80% of module manufacturers importing cells to close.
Solar analyst, Bridge to India’s managing director, Tobias Engelmeier, has warned anti-dumping duties will halt India’s solar industry for up to two years.
While developer and manufacturer Tata Power told PV Tech India’s domestic solar manufacturing sector will collapse by the end of the year unless the government adopts the recommended anti-dumping duties.
If the recommended duties are implemented then Chinese firms will be the hardest hit with a US$0.81/W duty.
Thin-film manufacturer First Solar which has dominated the thin film market in India would face US$0.11/W duties. US silicon-based panels could be subject to US$0.48/W duties, and Malaysian manufacturers, US$0.62/W and Taiwanese firms US$0.59/W.