Gyanesh Chaud­hary, MD and CEO, Vikram So­lar, in an in­ter­view.

Gyanesh Chaud­hary, MD and CEO, Vikram So­lar, in con­ver­sa­tion with R Srini­vasan.

Power Watch India - - CONTENTS -

Green, clean and re­new­able en­ergy is a part of the govern­ment’s agenda this year. This is cor­rob­o­rated by the fact that it is geared up to ac­com­plish 175 GW of clean en­ergy by 2022 via the auc­tion of 1,000 MW of rooftop so­lar power, Rs 13,000 crore in­vest­ment in so­lar parks and a Rs 21,000-crore pack­age to in­crease lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing of so­lar pan­els.

So­lar en­ergy be­holds tremen­dous po­ten­tial in a coun­try like In­dia where there ex­ists a huge de­mand and sup­ply gap in terms of en­ergy re­quire­ments. The other fac­tors be­ing ris­ing lev­els of pol­lu­tion and cost. Em­brac­ing re­new­able en­ergy is no more a mat­ter of choice, but rather an in­dis­pens­abil­ity – thanks to the in­ad­e­quate sup­ply and high cost of coal and petroleum based fu­els and the en­vi­ron­men­tal haz­ard it pro­motes.

It is im­per­a­tive for the Modi-led govern­ment to pro­vide tax re­bates to cus­tomers and end-users to make them plug in their en­ergy needs unto so­lar power backup sys­tems. The govern­ment should also re­ward in­di­vid­u­als with con­ces­sions and ben­e­fits who are mak­ing con­scious ef­forts in switch­ing to so­lar, for their daily power needs. The in­dus­try needs in­no­va­tive tech­nolo­gies and se­ri­ous pol­icy re­forms in or­der flour­ish in the long run.

Here are our rec­om­men­da­tions to the govern­ment for Union Bud­get 2017.

Ser­vice Tax: Keep­ing in mind the na­ture of the in­dus­try and to be­stow more power gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity un­der the re­new­able en­ergy sec­tor, the govern­ment should re­move ser­vice tax for the in­stal­la­tion and com­mis­sion­ing of re­new­able en­ergy projects.

In­come Tax: The cur­rent 10 year tax hol­i­day should be ex­tended for another 10 years. This is cru­cial keep­ing in mind that the set­ting-up of any new in­dus­trial project in­evitably takes a huge amount of time.

Ex­cise Duty: We re­quest the govern­ment to com­pletely lift ex­cise du­ties with re­gards to ma­chin­ery, equip­ment, spare parts etc, de­ployed in a reg­u­lar fac­tory set-up, meant for so­lar en­ergy pro­duc­tion projects. Ad­di­tion­ally, full ex­emp­tion from ex­cise for raw ma­te­ri­als re­quired for man­u­fac­tur­ing so­lar mod­ules such as tem­pered glass, back sheet, EVA sheet, so­lar cells, flat cop­per wire which are needed for mak­ing PV rib­bons etc. The same should be ap­pli­ca­ble for GST.

Ac­cel­er­ated De­pre­ci­a­tion: We would rec­om­mend that the 80% ac­cel­er­ated de­pre­ci­a­tion ben­e­fit should be re­in­stated again as it used to be, be­fore.

GST: We would like to rec­om­mend to the govern­ment that all the ben­e­fits and ex­emp­tions cur­rently ap­pli­ca­ble to SEZ units should con­tinue to ex­ist. En­ergy or elec­tric­ity pro­duced is cur­rently out­side the do­main of GST and thus in­put GST would in­evitably re­sult in a higher cost of power. We would like to rec­om­mend to the govern­ment to levy 100% ex­empt or zero-rated projects to all in­put ser­vices that are pro­vided to the power sec­tor. All the in­puts used for in­stal­la­tion and op­er­a­tions of power plants should have zero GST rates.

The govern­ment should also look at ex­empt­ing im­port du­ties on com­po­nents and equip­ment that are re­quired for es­tab­lish­ing so­lar power plants, with the roll-out of GST.

To pro­mote the in­dige­nous so­lar in­dus­try, the govern­ment should in­tro­duce more and more in­cen­tive schemes and over­all re­forms. The “Tech­nol­ogy up-gra­da­tion fund” like in the tex­tiles in­dus­try should be in­tro­duced in the so­lar sec­tor as well. The govern­ment should also pro­vide in­ter­est sub­si­dies for the so­lar in­dus­try.

Favourable pol­icy re­forms will not only cat­a­pult the govern­ment’s Make in In­dia pro­gramme but also be a step to­wards re­al­is­ing the govern­ment’s tar­get of elec­tri­fy­ing the whole of In­dia by 2020.

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