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India must become a manufacturing hub for photovoltaic modules and not just be traders of solar components under the Aatmanirbhar initiative, Union Minister Bhagwanth Khuba said on Thursday.
“So far India was dependent on other countries (for PV modules and solar components) but under Aatmanirbhar Bharat, we should not become only traders, we have to be manufacturers. India must be a hub of it,” he said while addressing over 300 participants in a session on renewable energy at the Mercom India Solar Summit 2022.
The minister said the government launched the PLI scheme to manufacture of PV modules and related components in India to support the domestic solar sector.
In April 2021, the Union Cabinet approved a Rs 4,500 crore Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme to boost domestic manufacturing capacity of solar PV modules.
The funding under the scheme for domestic solar cells and module manufacturing was enhanced to Rs 24,000 crore by the government to make the country an exporting nation.
On the duties levied on solar modules, the minister said, “it was not to discourage our Indian investors. It is to encourage Indian manufacturers so India should become a solar manufacturers hub in future.” In 2021, the government had announced imposing 40 per cent BCD (basic custom duty) on solar modules and 25 per cent on solar cells with effect from April 1, 2022.