The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has notified that it will be discontinuing the benefit of Concessional Custom Duty in respect of items imported for the initial set up of solar power projects.

In a memorandum, the Ministry stated that a new Ministry of Finance customs order has superseded its 2011 customs order, and thereby, the ministry is withdrawing the benefit of concessional customs duty on the items imported for the initial set up of the solar power projects with effect from February 2, 2021.

In compliance with the said Notification, MNRE has stopped the processing of all the applications (submitted to its online portal seeking Concessional Customs Duty Certificates in connection with the solar power projects w.e.f. February 2, 2021, i.e. the date on which the new notification from the Ministry of Finance (Revenue Department) came into force.

“Consequent upon rescission of the said notification, all the procedures laid down by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy through its communications issued from time to time in the matter also cease to be operational with effect from 02.02.2021,” MNRE stated.

The ministry has now requested Solar Power Developers to upload the reconciliation reports in respect of CCDCs issued before 02.02.2021, on the portal within the prescribed time limit after commissioning of the respective projects. Unused CCDCS may be returned in original to this Ministry within fifteen days from the date of issue of this OM.

In February, the MNRE had announced that renewable energy (RE) projects under implementation as of the date of lockdown, i.e. March 25, 2020, through RE Implementing Agencies designated by the MNRE or under various schemes of the ministry can seek to get a further extension beyond 5 months if granted by the implementing agencies in exceptional cases.

The ministry has specified that the additional extension for the projects will be granted by the implementing agencies after due diligence and careful consideration of the specific circumstances of the case, and if allowed in terms of the provisions of the relevant contract.

The ministry stated that it had since received requests for further extension beyond 5 months on account of COVID-19. After examining the request, the ministry decided that since it has already issued instructions for a blanket extension of 5 months on account of COVID-19 without case-to-case examination and without asking for any documents/evidence.

Source: Saur Energy