MNRE Reiterates Penalties for Flouting Domestic Solar Module Requirement Norms

The punitive actions include blacklisting of developers and filing of criminal cases


The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has reiterated that action will be taken against entities for violation of the domestic content requirement (DCR) provisions prescribing the use of domestically manufactured solar cells and modules, wherever permitted by the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The actions may range from the filing of criminal cases under IPC 420 and related sections, blacklisting of developers for ten years, forfeiting of bank guarantees, and disciplinary proceedings against the officers of the central public sector undertakings or state governments.

The government has been encouraging domestic manufacturers of solar cells and modules by implementing the DCR provisions for certain projects. DCR category projects were introduced to provide a guaranteed market for local solar component manufacturers.

The ministry said apprehensions have been raised regarding the supply of such solar cells and modules which may not fully comply with the DCR provisions prescribed under MNRE’s programs.

In 2018, MNRE had first notified penalties for any violation of DCR norms. It had also apprehended that the policy may be misused by way of misdeclaration and using imported solar cells and modules in DCR projects.

It had also issued an advisory regarding the procurement of modules for the operation and maintenance of the desired Capacity Utilization Factor of solar projects developed under the DCR category.

In 2020, MNRE had once again stressed that strict action would be taken against those solar project developers using imported solar cells and modules to develop projects under the DCR category.

Recently, however, MNRE extended the waiver of the DCR for solar cells used in projects under Component C of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan program until March 31, 2024.