No ray of hope for solar energy industry
The government has failed to consider the long-standing demand of the struggling steel and cement sectors though both will benefit from the enhanced infrastructure spending and thrust on real estate sector.
Seshagiri Rao, Joint Managing Director, JSW Steel, said the industry had demanded to remove the 2.5 per cent import duty on coking coal and other import-dependent raw materials including ferro alloy, but the government has not done anything on the customs duty side except for reducing duty on capital goods.
MahendraSinghi, President, Cement Manufacturers Association, and MD & CEO, Dalmia Cement (Bharat), said while the Budget has not included a singular and direct vision for the cement sector and industry at large, the allocation of ₹19,000 crore for rural roads will be an impetus for the cement industry. Bogged by excess capacity, cement companies were expecting that the government would consider their demand for reducing GST to 18 per cent from 28 per cent.
Solar energy sector players said the industry was expecting to have more clarity on policies and incentives.
“In a situation where there is scarcity of financing options for renewables and manufacturing units are dying a slow death, the Budget provides no ray of hope,” Amit Gupta, Director of Legal & Corporate Affairs, VikramSolar, said.
According to NikunjGhodawat, CFO, CleanMax Solar, while the Budget has confirmed the role of renewables in India’s development and States have started showing enthusiasm in adoption of renewable energy, “a long-term roadmap was expected by the industry.”
Sunil Rathi, Director, Waaree Energies, said that proposed investments in transport segment will nhance the scope for inter-State commercial transportation providing the industry with an opportunity to solarise commercial vehicles and other modes of public transport.