India is about to impose antidumping duties on solar panels imported from Taiwan, the US, China and Malaysia to protect domestic solar manufacturers, according to a government statement seen by reporters on Friday.
The order, almost certain to anger India’s trading partners, sets duties of between US$0.11 and US$0.81 per watt and comes after an investigation that started in 2011.
The ruling by a quasi-judicial body has to be published by the Indian Ministry of Finance before it takes effect.
The decision adds to India’s growing trade disputes just before Narendra Modi takes office as prime minister tomorrow.
“Imposition of antidumping measures would remove the unfair advantages gained by dumping practices,” India’s Antidumping Authority said in its order released on Thursday.
Local manufacturers have long complained that US, Chinese and Malaysian companies enjoy state subsidies and are selling their products at artificially low prices to capture the Indian market.
India also believes that anti-dumping duties imposed on Chinese solar producers by the EU and the US have further driven down the price of Chinese solar products, to the detriment of Indian suppliers.
India aims to raise its solar power capacity to 20,000 megawatts by 2022 from 1,700 megawatts currently.
It imported solar products worth nearly 60 billion rupees (US$1.03 billion) last year, according to an industry estimate.
Domestic manufacturers got less than 2 percent of that business.
“India’s solar manufacturing is now bound to revive and further increase with both local and overseas participation ensuring a robust supply chain,” H.R. Gupta of the Indian Solar Manufacturers’ Association said.
Under the new duties, importers will have to bear additional costs of between 5 percent and 110 percent while importing solar cells and panels from the US, Malaysia and China.
The US Trade Representative has filed two cases against India at the WTO, complaining that local content rules discriminate against US solar companies.
A senior US Trade Representative official said the US would look carefully at new duties, given the importance of the US solar industry.