Manufacturers of solar equipment have raised concern over the possible cost escalation of power projects and subsequent higher tariffs burden on consumers once the Goods and Service Tax (GST) is implemented. “Currently the sector enjoys almost zero tax structure in most of the states with VAT reimbursement by the state governments and other tax relaxation on solar power plants,” said Surender Pal Singh, Chairman, Solar Energy Equipment Manufacturers’ Association of Telangana.
“Once GST comes into the picture, if Indian manufacturers are subjected to that, then we will be in great disadvantageous position when compared to China and Taiwan. That would subsequently escalate the cost of the project by 10 to 15 percent and ultimately burden the consumers,” he told reporters here. The All India Solar Manufacturers’ Association has already submitted a memorandum to Finance and Commerce Ministers, among others, to have a soft view on the budding sector, Singh informed. According to him, the current rate is about Rs 5 per unit. Replying to a query, Singh said India currently has installed capacity of solar power 8.1 GW and during the current fiscal it may go up to 15 GW both ground and rooftop.
He said financial institutions including banks charge at par with other industries though the solar industry as classified as special category. “The mindset of banks on solar industry is not still clear. They are still hesitant when it comes to lending,” he said. Meanwhile, UBM India, an exhibition organiser, said it is hosting the 10th edition of its Renewable Energy India Expo from September 7-9, 2016 at Greater Noida.