Through a memorandum issued on 13 08 2020, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) under the present union government has asked all concerned to treat the delay on account of disruption of the supply chains due to spread of corona virus in China or any other country, as Force Majeure and that they may grant suitable extension of time for projects, on account of corona virus, based on evidences or documents produced by developers in support of their respective claims of such disruption of the supply chains due to spread of corona virus in China or any other country.
The memorandum has also stated that all RE projects under implementation as on the date of lockdown, i.e., 25th March 2020, through RE Implementing Agencies designated by the MNRE or under various schemes of the MNRE, shall be given a time extension of five months from 25th March 2020 to 24th August 2020. This blanket extension, if invoked by the RE developers, will be given without case to case examination and no documents or evidence will be asked for such extension.
This decision has literally revitalised the morale of the industry. However, some stakeholders are still worried about the government’s future plans of imposing more taxation on the RE segment.
Revealing the sign of temporary relief, Ritu Lal, Head of Institutional Relations, Amplus Solar, said, “Developers had been making several representations to the MNRE on the matter for the last few months. We thank the Ministry for taking note of our concerns on this issue and allowing us this much required extension.”
However, considering the present situation, Pinaki Bhattacharyya, Co – Founder and CEO at Amp Energy India, said, “This is a positive move by MNRE and showcases their intent of helping the sector tide over these tough times by providing the developers sufficient extension timelines. Having said that, the government should not impose more trade barriers after extending SGD such as Basic Customs Duty. The power costs have already gone up, any additional duty will further increase the cost of power for consumers and this would not a great move given the current situation.” It’s evident that Bhattacharyya’s concern has a strong ground.