The Indian Ministry of Commerce has recommended anti-dumping duties of up to $0.81 per watt on solar cells imported from China, the US, Malaysia and Taipei. Dumping, according to World Trade Organization (WTO), is a situation of international price discrimination. This means the price of a product in the importing country is less than the price of the same product in the exporting country’s market.
The Commerce Ministry’s Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) has recommended, in its final findings, recommended imposition of dumping duties on imports of “solar cells whether or not assembled partially or fully in modules or on glass or some other suitable substrates, originating in or exported from Malaysia, China, Chinese Taipei and USA.”
The investigation by DGAD found that increased imports have caused “material injury” to the domestic industry. DGAD in its notification states that the product under consideration has been exported to India from subject countries below its normal value, thus resulting in dumping of the product; the domestic industry has suffered material injury due to dumping of the product under consideration. The Commerce Ministry began its investigation into the matter in November 2012 after some Indian solar manufacturing companies, including Indosolar and Juiptar Solar, filed a complaint with the Ministry in January 2012, alleging dumping.
The Ministry has recommended anti-dumping duties of up to $0.48 per watt on import of solar cells from the US companies and up to $0.81 per watt for Chinese firms. Similarly, $0.62 per watt and $ 0.59 per watt has been recommended on imports from Malaysiaand Taipei, respectively.
“The Authority [DGAD] is of the view that imposition of definitive anti-dumping duty is required to offset dumping and injury. Therefore, the Authority considers it necessary to recommend imposition of definitive anti-dumping duties on the imports of the goods from the countries,” it added. The final decision on the matter has to be taken within three months.
Boost to domestic manufacturers
The Indian Solar Manufacturers’ Association (ISMA) has hailed the development. “The Indian manufacturers have suffered tremendous material injury due to this unfair trade practice and its negative impact on employment. Several thousands of skilled workers who had lost their jobs due to this relentless dumping will now resume work,” reads the statement released by ISMA on 23 May.
H R Gupta, managing director of Indosolar Limited and member, ISMA, said, “India’s solar manufacturing is now bound to revive and further increase with both local and overseas participation, ensuring a robust supply chain.” Last year imports of solar products into India totalled Rs 6,000 crore but Indian manufacturers did not even get 2 per cent of that business. Reportedly, the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy plans to ask the Prime Minister to halt the proposed duties as it may increase the price of solar energy in the country.