"It was a catch 22 situation for our government, we had ambitious plans in the solar power sector. Imposition of anti-dumping duty will kill the solar mission. Imposition of any such duty would have led to escalation in the tariff from solar plants," Goyal said at the ACMA national conference.

Government has scare resources and also the customer is not going to pay higher prices for a product which is not economical, he said.

He said domestic manufacturers had 'suo-moto' withdrawn their plea for such a duty.

Imports were necessary as the domestic manufacturing had not scaled up to a level wherein it could provide the required number for the solar mission, the Minister said.

"We ensured within the framework of WTO to provide adequate support to not only fulfil the current manufacturing potential but also plan for a five year significant ramp up from what they (domestic manufactures) have now, " Goyal added.

The Minister had earlier said domestic solar equipment manufacturing capacity of 700-800 MW is not sufficient to meet the government's ambitious plans of adding more power generation capacity through renewable energy sources.

Ministry for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari had written to Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman opposing plan to levy anti-dumping duty on the items, saying this would escalate the cost of solar power in the country.

The country's current installed solar capacity exceeds 2,600 MW.

Earlier in May, the Ministry of Commerce under the UPA regime had recommended imposing a restrictive duty in the range of USD 0.11-0.81 per watt on solar cells imported from US, China, Malaysia and Chinese Taipei in a move to protect the struggling domestic industry.

The recommendations were against the backdrop of US dragging India to the WTO (World Trade Organisation) with respect to domestic sourcing norms for the national solar mission.

India is of the view that its solar mission - which aims to have 20,000 MW solar capacity by 2022 - is compliant with WTO rules.

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