Finance minister today announced during the presentation of union budget 2012 that concessions and exemptions will be provided for energy saving devices, plant and equipments needed for solar-thermal project during their setting up.
This hasn’t gone too well with the domestic manufacturers who were expecting the same for solar photovoltaic (PV) industry, which holds almost 100% of the solar energy market in India.
“PV is where the action is. The industry was expecting import duty to be removed on raw material required for solar PV cells and modules. This would have brought down the input costs, but sadly the exemption is for the solar thermal, which is of no use,” said a senior official from the ministry of new and renewable energy.
Domestic manufactures of solar PV cells and modules have been lobbying since long for exemption of all duties on raw materials and imposition of import duty on foreign finished PV cells and modules, but the minister has seem to disappointed them.
“It will have a very little effect on the industry which is already reeling under the imports especially from China,” said Prakash Shrivastava, President, Maharishi Solar pvt ltd, one of the major domestic solar companies. Domestic manufacturers of solar PV and modules are running on capacity as low as 10%-15% so an exemption would have brought a relief to them.
Another major player in the domestic solar energy market also voiced its disappointed mentioning that none of the demands of the indigenous manufacturers have been met and this is going to only hurt the industry.