The Indian government has extended import duties on Chinese solar equipment until July 2021 to encourage local manufacturing.
India's federal Commerce Ministry said a 14.9 percent duty would be levied on solar equipment imports for six months beginning 30 July and it will remain in force until 28 January next year. The applicable duty will then fall to 14.5 percent and remain in force until 29 July next year. The duty will be applicable on equipment including solar cells and modules.
India imposed duty on solar equipment in 2018 for two years in order to prevent China from dumping cheap equipment in the country, jeopardising local solar equipment manufacturing. The duty for 2018-2019 was 25 percent, falling to 20 percent in 2019-20.
The local solar industry wanted the duty to be extended for four years. Sources in the Indian Power Ministry told Sputnik on condition of anonymity that local manufacturers met federal Power Minister R K Sigh recently and proposed an extension of four years. “In the meeting, a discussion over replacing the safeguards duty with a basic customs duty in the range of 15 to 20 percent on power equipment imports was discussed. The proposal was to double this in the next one year,” the power ministry source added.
In the wake of the prevailing border tension with China, India has retaliated on the trade front. Tariff measures that India has recently taken include the extension of an anti-dumping duty on certain varieties of steel until this December and the imposition of higher duties on bamboo imports.
Restrictions have also been put on the imports of power tillers. Customs duty has also increased on 89 items to curb imports such as footwear, toys, furniture, and pressure vessels. The Indian government has also imposed restrictions on Chinese foreign direct investment in India as well as its participation in public procurement projects.