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11/09/2018 07:47am

Supreme Court restores 'safeguard duty' on solar cell imports

image Supreme Court restores 'safeguard duty' on solar cell imports

New Delhi, Sept 11 (KNN) The Supreme Court has allowed the Centre to levy 25 per cent safeguard duty on solar cell imports.

The duty on solar cells — the basic ingredient needed to manufacture solar panels — was imposed for a year, ending July 19, 2019, and the tax was to reduce to 20% for the six months till January 29, 2020, and 15% for the subsequent six months.

Odisha High Court had passed an interim order staying imposition of 'safeguard duty' on import of solar cells.

The Orissa HC, hearing a writ petition against the duty filed by local solar plant developers, had barred the government from imposing it till August 20, but the government went ahead and slapped the 25% impost on July 30.

On the request of domestic solar cell manufacturers, the director general (safeguards) on a preliminary finding had imposed a provisional safeguard duty of 70% ad valorem on import of solar cells.

It was challenged by Shapoorji Pallonji Infrastructure Capital Co Ltd before Madras HC, which dismissed the petition on April 16.

Another importer - ACME Solar Holdings Ltd - moved Delhi HC for similar relief and its petition was disposed of after recording that the petitioner would submit a representation to the Centre against the preliminary finding of the DG (safeguards).

In the meantime, the DG, after a detailed examination, gave final recommendation for imposition of safeguard duty at 25% for first year followed by 20% in the second year.


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