Tax Dispute Stalls Solar Panel Cargoes, Delaying Projects


Tax Dispute Stalls Solar Panel Cargoes, Delaying Projects

Several solar projects in India are facing delays and inflated costs as customs officials have blocked more than 900 containers of panel shipments for more than a month by demanding higher import duties.

Officials clearing import shipments at the Port of Chennai in South India are classifying solar panels as motors, which attract 7.5 percent import duty as opposed to zero on solar modules, said Sunil Jain, chief executive officer of Hero Future Energies Ltd., a company backed by International Finance Corp. A 30-megawatt shipment of Hero Future was cleared after paying higher duties, he said.

The spat risks imperiling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of installing 100 gigawatts of solar energy by 2022. To meet that target, developers have relied on low-cost cells and modules from China, enabling tariffs in India to fall to among the lowest in the world. India is China’s second-biggest market for solar equipment with imports worth $3.2 billion for the year ended March 31, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance research. Read More…

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