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Web Exclusive | January 2013

Plan panel for simpler taxes, sops for solar power

To achieve the target of 20,000 mw solar power capacity in 10 years under the National Solar Mission, Planning Commission has mooted doing away with the inverted duty structure along the solar industry’s value chain, besides providing incentives to research and development for indigenous manufacturers.

The twelfth Plan document said.that manufacturing policy should ensure that India gets easy access to the best available global technology while focusing on development of domestic industry for manufacturing solar cells.

This can be done by ensuring that basic and intermediate inputs do not attract higher tariffs than finished products. Besides, government should permit indigenous manufacturers to compete with government laboratories for research funding through budgetary sources to encourage them to undertake more R&D activities, the Plan document added.

The Commission admitted that off-grid and even grid-connected solar power projects under National Solar Mission (NSM) have taken a long time for financial closure because of reluctance of local banks to provide loans and lack of stability in policies.

So the panel urged the government to immediately classify solar power projects as priority lending, so that banks start giving it due importance in their credit plans.

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