Govt to amend solar bid rule to allow import duty hike pass-on

Govt to amend solar bid rule to  allow import duty hike pass-on
New Delhi: Allaying fears of an adverse impact on India's solar energy programme due to the proposed 70 per cent safeguard duty, Power Minister R K Singh on Wednesday said the government will amend bidding rules to allow pass through of duty hike.
The government will ensure that the rules are not implemented retrospectively, he said.
With pass through of any hike in duties, solar power developers will be allowed to increase the tariffs based on which they have bagged the projects, so as to recover the extra cost.
"The duty structure prevailing on the day of bid shall be implemented. Any change in taxes and duties would be passed through. Current bidding document provides for passing through taxes only. We would provide for passing through taxes and duties," Singh told reporters here.
He also assured that the amendment in the bidding rules can be done by his approval and does not require Parliament nod. He said an inter-ministerial committee headed by commerce secretary will finalise the recommendation on the proposal of Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS) by next week.
The recommendations of the DG Safeguards are examined by the Board of Safeguards, which is headed by the Commerce Secretary. If the Board agrees with the findings of the DG Safeguards, it recommends imposition of duty to the Finance Ministry.
The safeguard duty is a global measure and applies to imports from all countries.
In a January 5 recommendation to the finance ministry, the DGS said solar cells are "being imported into India in such increased quantities and under such conditions so as to cause or threaten to cause serious injury to the domestic industry manufacturing like or directly competitive products".
Acting on an application filed by an association of five domestic cell and module makers including the Adani Group, the DGS recommended "a provisional Safeguard Duty be imposed at the rate of 70 per cent ad valorem on the imports of solar cells whether or not assembled in modules
or panels."


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