Safeguard Duty Case. Orissa HC sets 19 Sep as next date

Orissa high court extends hearing of solar safeguard duty case for the second time to September 19.

The solar companies still won’t breath relief soon as the Orissa high court extended the 27th august hearing of the solar safeguard duty case to 19 September, 2018. The order by the court also means that the stay on SGD will stay till September 19.

The petition was filed by ACME, Hero and Vikram solar after the sudden imposition of the safeguard duty of 25 % by the government, which came into effect on 30 July this year. Following the stay on the Duty by the Orissa High Court, finance ministry announced that the government will refrain from imposing any duty on the solar imports from China and Malaysia, for some time.

Despite the previous forecast of downturn effects of the SGD on the solar project tenders, the recent offers floated by the SECI and NTPC have received bids as low as Rs 2.59. In the auction held by the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) to develop 2 GW of interstate transmission system (ISTS)-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, Lowest tariff of Rs 2.59 /kWh by ACME, one of the petitioners of the case. This clearly shows that the solar firms have been shrugging the effect of the safe guard duty till now.

It will be wise to add that recently MPUVNL issued the clarification after many bidders raised questions regarding the methodology which could be adopted to assess the impact of safeguard duty on the tariff. This move also shows that power regulators trying to outline the financial burden the bidders must keep in mind for the tariff. So its safe to say that the second extension of the case may fuel uncertainties in future, in the market if the matter is not heard expeditiously.

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