Economy

We have done nothing wrong: MNRE

M Ramesh Chennai | Updated on November 12, 2019 Published on February 08, 2013

Reacting to the news of the US government challenging India in the World Trade Organisation over the ‘domestic content requirement’ under the National Solar Mission, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has said that India has not violated any WTO rules.

 

Our stand has been that this is ‘government procurement’ and therefore, it is ok, Tarun Kapur, Joint Secretary, MNRE, told Business Line today.

 

Further, the quantum of solar capacity that requires domestically produced solar modules is very small. Today, India has 1,200 MW of solar photo voltaic capacity. Another 1,000 MW is under construction and a further 2,000 MW is under tendering processes. “Of this 4,200 MW, capacity for which the domestic content requirements apply is very small,” Kapur said.

 

“We honour our WTO commitments. We also have to look after out domestic industry,” he said.

 

This complaint by US comes close on the heels of the anti-dumping investigations being carried out by the Ministry of Commerce against PV modules manufacturers from China, USA, Taiwan and Malaysia. However, the solar industry is divided whether there could be a connection between India’s and USA’s action.

 

According to the MNRE, India’s manufacturing capacity of 1,932 MW of modules, 848 MW of cells and 15 MW of ingots and wafers. (Polysilicon ingots are cut into wafers, wafers are processed into cells and modules are panels containing several cells.)

 

The leading cell and module manufacturers in India are Moser Baer, Indo Solar, Tata Power Solar, Jupiter, Websol and Surana Ventures. While the Hyderabad-based Surana Ventures has said that it can stand any competition, including from the low-cost Chinese products, others companies have urged for some protection. The US action is a set back to these companies.

 

On the other hand, the Solar Independent Power Producers Association (SIPPA) has argued against imposition of any anti-dumping duty, on the grounds that the solar power generation industry, nascent as it is, ought to be given access to cheap equipment from anywhere in the world.

 

  ramesh.m@thehindu.co.in 

Published on February 08, 2013

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