Weekly Update: Can the levy of anti-dumping duties be stopped now?

The Indian Ministry of Commerce has concluded that certain foreign suppliers dumped solar cells and modules in the Indian market in the first half of 2012. The ministry is now likely to recommend dumping tariffs for solar cells and modules. As discussed last week, BRIDGE TO INDIA believes that the imposition of such duties will be counterproductive and can be a ‘market killer’ (refer).

  • Based on BRIDGE TO INDIA’s discussions (with solar power producer, EPC contractors, MNRE officials etc), the earlier consensus was that antidumping duties had become irrelevant after long delays in the investigations involved
  • The recently submitted notes have provided more clarity on the subject and have swayed the results
  • To get more clarity on the situation, we urge interested parties to take part in a quick questionnaire [link]

Based on our discussions with several solar power producers, EPC contractors, component manufacturers as well as with various officials at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and state ministries over the past few months, the consensus was that antidumping duties had become irrelevant after long delays in the investigation process. Now, we understand that at the last moment, many major solar power producers and the countries involved have again submitted notes to provide more clarity on the subject and sway the results. According to unconfirmed sources, the US government has also written a letter to the Government of India on the matter.

Going by the procedure, the matter has taken on a dynamic of its own and the obvious conclusion of the process will be imposition of duties, even if it is detrimental to the market in general. It is a legal, not a political or commercial question. The recommendations from the Ministry of Commerce on the tariffs will go to the Ministry of Finance, which will then be in charge of implementing the duties. The deadline for issuing the recommendations (21st May 2014) is fast approaching. What is needed, is a political intervention to prevail over procedural logic. Formation of a new government at the center, following the announcement of the result of national elections last week, will make such an action difficult. Intervening in this process, however, would be a very good first indicator of the new government’s commitment to a growing solar market.

In order to provide more clarity on the situation, we urge all interested parties to take part in a quick questionnaire [link], the results of which we will analyse and publish on an anonymized basis.

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