The world is swiftly turning to renewable energy. From electric vehicles to solar cells, there is a realisation that excessive reliance on fossil fuels to power economies may not be sustainable.
Thus, ‘green’ has become a buzzword. India is also boosting its green energy production through wind, solar and hydro projects, in addition to reducing its dependence on fossil fuels.
Budget 2022-23 offers much to look forward to. The government has already set a goal to achieve 500 gigawatts (GW) and 50 per cent nonfossil fuel energy share by 2030. This is backed up with a pledge to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070, articulated at the global climate meet in Glasgow last year.
The renewable energy sector is anticipating Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Union Budget speech on February 1, 2022 for any tax relief and incentives related to green technologies.
Governments are well aware that in order to achieve these ambitious targets, the renewable energy sector needs substantial financial assistance in the form of targeted subsidies, import tariffrestrictions, interest-free loans, improved tax structures and careful policy framing for both the states and power distribution companies or discoms.
Solar and wind tariffs have been negatively affected by the increase in the goods and services tax (GST) to 12 per cent from 5 per cent on specified renewable energy devices and parts, post October 2021. Combined with the proposed Basic Custom Duty (BCD) on solar equipment from 1 April 2022, this will only hurt renewable energy developers further.
The government will send the wrong message to industry and consumers by imposing a 5 per cent GST on coal a 12 per cent GST and BCD of 40 per cent on solar equipment.
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