The Union Minister of Power, R.K. Singh, cautioned domestic manufacturers against importing necessary equipment from ‘countries of concern.’
Singh spoke at a webinar- Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers Association (IEEMA) Annual Convention 2020- where he addressed domestic power generation equipment manufacturers.
“We will set up a task force that will focus on manufacturing zones where you will get land and power at reasonable rates. Simultaneously, we are building barriers such as the ‘approved list of modules and manufacturers (ALMM), which is again non-tariff based. This is already in place for wind, and soon, we will come up with a similar list for solar modules.
In January 2019, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) issued an order that it would be mandatory to enlist the eligible models and manufacturers of solar PV cells and modules complying with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and publish it as the ALMM list. Only those modules and cells enlisted in this list by manufacturers would be utilized in government-owned projects and those set up for the sale of electricity to the government. Prior to inclusion in the ALMM, a MNRE team would be inspecting the facility to conduct production and sale audit of the firm.
The ALMM order is set to be implemented starting September 30, 2020. The extension was granted due to the ongoing pandemic.
Singh further added that the world had lost its faith in China, and they want to come here to set up manufacturing in India, “And by manufacturing, I don’t mean assembly lines, I mean 50-60% value addition.”
He told the panel, “My advice to you is to stop importing from countries which are of concern, we will examine those imports with a magnifying glass for two to three years. So, the best thing to do is not to import at all from these countries. This is one way to fight import dumping, which is negatively impacting our domestic manufacturer. So we are going into put in place a lot of non-tariff barriers, plain and simple.”
He even advised the industry to work on reverse engineering, “Look at South Korea, they didn’t discover the television (TV). But their brand Samsung is world-famous for its TVs. This is my biggest complaint about our industry. We should start working on reverse engineering.”
In April this year, the central government tweaked its existing foreign direct investment (FDI) policy to deter opportunistic takeovers and acquisitions of Indian entities by foreigners. According to the new rules, an entity from a country sharing borders with India can invest only through the government route.
Notably, China’s FDI in the Indian non-conventional energy segment was just 3.14% of the total Chinese FDI over the last five years. Total investment in the sector by Chinese enterprises was around $46.61 million, while its total FDI in India was $1,481.65 million in the last five years. FDI for non-conventional energy by Chinese companies dropped to $150,000 compared to $24.44 million in the previous year.
Image credit: Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (GODL-India) / GODL-India
Rahul is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before entering the world of renewables, Rahul was head of the Gujarat bureau for The Quint. He has also worked for DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror. Hailing from a banking and finance background, Rahul has also worked for JP Morgan Chase and State Bank of India. More articles from Rahul Nair.