India defers levy of safeguard duty on solar cells

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New Delhi : The Indian government will not insist on payment of safeguard duty on import of solar cells for the time being in deference to an interim order passed by the Orissa High Court, a Finance Ministry official said on Tuesday.

On the recommendations of its Directorate General of Trade Remedies, India had imposed safeguard duties in July on import of solar cells from China and Malaysia for two years to protect the domestic industry from the sudden recent flood of cheap imports.

"In compliance with the interim directions issued by the Orissa High Court, it has been decided not to insist on payment of safeguard duty, for the time being," the official said, noting that a circular had been issued in this regard.

Accordingly, solar cells, whether assembled as modules or panels, would be assessed provisionally for the purpose of safeguard duty, on the submission of a simple letter of undertaking or bond by the concerned importer, the official added.

Solar cells from China, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan account for more than 90 per cent of such imports into India.