ISMA withdraws anti-dumping duty petition for solar cells; may file afresh

Indian Solar Manufacturers’ Association (ISMA) on Monday said it has withdrawn its petition for antidumping duty on solar cells and modules, covering the period of investigation till June 2017. The association added it will soon file a fresh petition with a more relevant and a recent period of investigation.

“The import trends since then (filing of the petition) have made the period of investigation irrelevant. Despite an ongoing investigation, the exports from China, Taiwan and Malaysia of cells and modules increased by 33 to 45 %, during the period from July 2017 to Dec 2017,” ISMA said in its statement.

The association added the massive increase in volumes was enabled by a significant price reduction to dump more material in India. The prices in the same period fell by about 25%. “This has resulted in an enhanced injury to the Domestic Industry which would not have been fairly addressed by the outcome of an investigation covering the period upto June 2017,” ISMA added.

ISMA remains confident it will soon approach the concerned authorities with a fresh petition “The objective is only to get a fair and just redressal of our grievance,” it said in its statement.

The association in its petition said that around 80 per cent of the solar cell and modules market had been cornered by imports. The petition filed for investigation till June 2017, was the association’s third such attempt to bar solar imports from flooding the Indian market.

The first case was filed in 2012 against the US, European Union, China, Malaysia and Taiwan. The case ran for two years saw solar cell makers, allied electronics industry and even glass makers asking for protection against the import of solar panels. While DGAD finalised duties from $0.48 per unit to $0.81 per unit on solar cells imported from the above mentioned countries, the ministry of finance did not impose the same and let the duty lapse in May 2016. In 2014, the makers filed a complaint with Directorate General of Anti-Dumping (DGAD) under the ministry of commerce and Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS) under the ministry of finance. 

The ministry of commerce in 2014 identified a dumping margin range of 50-60 per cent from the US and around 100-110 per cent by China, the largest exporter of solar cells worldwide. But the very next year the then minister for new and renewable energy Piyush Goyal assured the domestic industry of enough business opportunity requesting them to drop the case. 

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