India Budget 2017 – Mr. Ashish Khanna, ED & CEO, Tata Power Solar Shares his Expectations
Budget Expectations by Tata Power Solar
2017 should continue to be a strong year for solar and in line with the MNRE solar mission. To achieve the ambitious 100 GW target, we hope the upcoming budget will provide impetus to the solar industry in four areas of focus.
We expect a stronger focus on solar manufacturing, with clear long-term outlook. We hope for lower, better restructured taxes and better access to finance and capital at a competitive rate. We also look forward to streamlining of import duties on panels and system components. These measures will not only provide a more level playing field for domestic players against subsidized imported panels, but also help in investment in R&D technology upgrades and safeguard the Indian manufacturing industry.
Secondly, we hope for increased focus to promote solar rooftops, which has not been leveraged to its full potential till now. The budget should make solar adoption easier, economical and viable keeping in mind the 100% upfront cost. With commercial and industrial customers being a key proponent of the growing solar market, we expect that the Government reconsider its decision and reverts to the earlier incentivisation of 80% accelerated depreciation, versus the revised 40%. Exemption of rooftop systems from GST will help encourage adoption, especially at a consumer and retail level.
Streamlining and improvement of subsidy disbursal should be another key focus area. While rooftop solar systems attract subsidies, the disbursement process is not streamlined and standardized across the country, thus, reducing the impact of the same. We should analyze alternative ways for subsidy disbursement through approaches like tax-based incentivisation.
Lastly, we hope that the Government uses solar’s scalability to reduce the current energy divide by focusing on proliferation of distributed, off-grid solar power generation. They should give strong incentive for adopting microgrids, especially in areas with limited grid connectivity.