Macro Economy

Solar sourcing norms are WTO compliant: Govt

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 24, 2017

Rajeev Kher, Commerce Secretary

US launching second challenge in WTO

Responding to the United States’ fresh challenge over local-buying provisions in India’s national solar programme, New Delhi has said that its policy was compliant with World Trade Organisation rules.

“Our current policy is WTO compliant. We will participate in the discussions sought by the US,” said Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher at a press conference on Tuesday.

US Trade Representative Michael Froman had said on Monday that his country was launching a second challenge at the World Trade Organisation against domestic sourcing requirements incorporated in India’s National Solar Mission.

US concern

The US is upset that the second phase of the Mission launched recently widens the scope of items covered under the domestic sourcing requirement clause.

The first challenge to the solar mission was made by the US in February 2012 after the first phase was launched.

Kher said that the second challenge that had come after the launch of the second phase had not come as a surprise to India.

Although in the second phase, the Government has freed half the projects from local sourcing conditions, the US is angry because the coverage has been expanded to include solar thin films that was mostly imported from the US during the first phase.

New Delhi was not rattled by the US move because it had clear evidence that as many as 13 States in the US had equally restrictive policies in the area of solar energy, the Commerce Secretary said.

India is not a signatory to the Government Procurement Agreement of WTO, a plurilateral agreement that has just a few countries as members.

Published on February 11, 2014

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