Say US Exim Bank’s concessional 3.8% financing to American firms knocks Indian players out of competition
Beaten by cheap Chinese imports, 25 domestic solar manufacturers are eagerly waiting for an anti-dumping order from the Indian government. The order is expected on May 22.
The Indian Solar Manufacturers’ Association (ISMA), their representative body, today said thin-film and silicon PV cells and modules imported into India from the US and other Asian countries are being sold at “ridiculously low prices, and are bleeding the local industry and violating international fair trade regulations.
In 2014, global photovoltaic cell price has come down to $0.35 a Wp from $3 in 2008. Besides, diesel phased decontrol of diesel has made solar power 30 per cent cheaper than diesel generation.
Recently, the European Union imposed anti-dumping duty of around 48 per cent on Chinese solar imports. The US Commerce Department too had imposed anti-dumping duties ranging from 29.18 percent to 254.66 percent on solar-energy cells imported from China in December 2012.
The US government, however, considers Indian government’s domestic content requirement clause in the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission as violating WTO norms. Countering this at an industry briefing, Rahul Gupta, managing director, Indosolar, said the US Exim Bank‘s concessional 3.8 per cent financing to American companies violates basic principles.
“The US misuse of Fast Start Financing Fund is unethical. The fund that was supposed to benefit the developing countries now works to knock out Indian manufacturers from competition. It’s time the Indian government took the US to WTO for this pervert triple accounting,” said Gupta.
The Indian industry that supplies glass to domestic solar module makers is also struggling to survive. Under JNNSM, companies putting up solar power generation units should meet at least 30 per cent domestic content requirement. This protection is similar to ones prevalent in 13 countries including EU, USA, China, South Africa and the West Asia.
In January 2013, India’s Ministry of Commerce issued gazette notification for launch of anti-dumping investigations into imported PV cells from China, Taiwan, Malaysia and the US. ISMA said more than 70 per cent of the installed PV capacity is idle.
“Contrary to the claims of solar developers about quality, India made solar cells and modules are compliant to German certified IEC specs and calibrated in German Laboratories. Solar panels of 240-250W peak can be manufactured in India which is a standard for solar installations worldwide,” said Gupta.
Vivek Chaturvedi, chief marketing officer, Moser Baer Solar, a leading manufacturer of cells andmodules, said his company found prices in Japan more attractive than the domestic market. Moser Baer exports 90 per cent of its production with Japan constituting the biggest chunk of 80 per cent. “But for the dumping of cheap products our company would have been a giga watt player,” said Chaturvedi.
Source: Business Standard