The proposed duties are for both crystalline silicon (c-Si) and thin film solar cells, whether or not assembled in modules or panels.
As per media reports, the government had in December ordered a safeguard duty probe on surging solar cell imports to protect domestic manufacturers after the domestic industry approached the Directorate General of Safeguards. The scrip opened at Rs13.74 and has touched a high and low of Rs14.25 and Rs12.87 respectively.
The DGS has not suggested any duty on the imports from the United States and the European Union, citing very low imports.
Indian custom officials have reportedly held around 2,000 shipping containers filled with solar modules at four seaports and have demanded 7.5% customs duty on them. The rest has to be purchased on the worldwide market, it said.
India has an annual manufacturing capacity for solar cells of around 3 gigawatts as against the requirement of 20 GW. According to DGS, despite the rapid expansion in domestic demand of solar cells, the market share of the domestic industry has decreased; the domestic industry had a market share of 14 per cent in 2014-15 which declined to 10 per cent during 2017-18.
The DGS has also observed that while China's import growth slowed down in other countries, it increased considerably towards India.
Government authorities are also investigating petitions filed by Indian solar module manufacturers which are struggling due to the overwhelming share of imported solar modules and cells being used in India. "To illustrate, while China's exports to India constituted a paltry 1.52 per cent of its total global exports during 2012, this increased to 21.58 per cent during 2016", the DGS added.
During H12017, the share of Chinese solar exports to India stood at 38.7 per cent and compared to the 5 per cent of the United States and European Union combined. "This aspect of having a huge production base coupled with excess capacity have a bearing on the applicants' case that there has been a surge in imports of the PUC from China", the DGS stated.
This is the second attempt by the Indian panel makers to approach the DGAD for anti-dumping duty.
Over the last few years, the USA had resorted to arbitrary and unsustainable methods by seeking authorization for retaliatory measures in trade disputes without establishing whether a party to the dispute has implemented the rulings or not, said a legal analyst who asked not to be identified.