New Delhi: The power ministry is seeking to ditch a proposal to impose dumping duties on imports of the US and Asian solar equipment, saying tariffs would undermine Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plans to boost solar power.

“We’ve requested the commerce ministry and finance ministry to reconsider," power minister Piyush Goyal told reporters on Monday in New Delhi. “As things stand today, India doesn’t have adequate manufacturing capacity to support the kind of thrust we want to give to solar."

The comments indicate growing opposition in Modi’s government to levies recommended on 22 May by the nation’s previous administration. The proposed tariffs ranging from 11 cents to 81 cents per watt threaten to more than double the price of the US, Chinese, Malaysian and Taiwanese panels.

India has built 80% of its photovoltaic capacity using panels imported from those countries, according to New Delhi-based consultancy Bridge to India Energy Pvt Ltd. The ministry of new & renewable energy says domestic makers can’t supply enough solar cells to keep pace with plans to quadruple solar power capacity in the next three years.

Transport minister Nitin Gadkari warned his commerce ministry counterpart that duties would double the cost of solar power, the Hindu Business Line reported on 11 June.

The ministry of finance has until 22 August to implement the duties, which were recommended by the commerce ministry four days before Modi’s administration took office. Bloomberg

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