No specific allocation for solar energy: Experts

ST CORRESPONDENT
Saturday, 2 February 2019

A solar expert said that though there is a mention of solar energy in the Budget, the approach this government has taken since last year is not very welcoming.

PUNE: In the interim budget presented by the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways and Coal, Piyush Goyal on Friday, the International Solar Alliance was highlighted under the climate change section.

This alliance seeks to promote renewable energy, along with the first treaty-based international inter-governmental organisation headquartered in India. Moreover, installed solar generation capacity has grown over 10 times in the last five years, which created lakhs of new age jobs.

Speaking to Sakal Times, Rahul Ralebhat, Solar Expert and Assistant Professor at DY Patil College of Engineering, Akurdi, said that though there is a mention of solar energy in the Budget, the approach this government has taken since last year is not very welcoming to the whole idea.

“Last year, the government added up to 25 per cent safeguard duty on modules imported from China and Malaysia. This has left the industry confused as many small businessmen had to bear the brunt due to this hike. This also increased uncertainty and a sense of unfair competition among small businesses,” said Ralebhat.

He added that though the emphasis of the government was to take these modules from indigenous dealers, only such giant players sustained the market inducing unfair competition. 

“Also, the introduction of Goods and Sales Taxes (GST) on various components made a lot of things complicated,” said Ralebhat.

Echoing similar views, Ashwin Gambhir of Prayas Energy Group who leads the work on renewable energy policy and regulatory research and advocacy, said, “Except for the mention, there was no specific allocation for solar energy.”

“The introduction of generating more jobs through solar energy is a good thing. The growth with this pace is less and the uncertainty in the industry as of now is more,” said Gambhir.

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