Geneva: The World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) dispute settlement body has agreed to set up a panel to determine whether India has complied with its ruling in a case against the US regarding domestic content requirements for solar cells and modules.
In 2016, New Delhi had lost a case against the US at the WTO after the global trade body stated that power purchase agreements signed by the Indian government with solar firms for its National Solar Mission did not meet international trade norms.
The US, which is of the opinion that New Delhi continues to apply the “WTO-inconsistent measures", had in December last year approached the Geneva-based multi-lateral organisation demanding action against India for non-compliance of the WTO ruling.
India, however, has been maintaining that it has complied with the WTO’s ruling. India had requested the WTO to set up a panel to determine its compliance with the rulings of the dispute. “At its meeting on 28 February, the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) agreed to establish a panel to determine whether India has complied with a previous ruling regarding its domestic content requirements for solar cells and solar modules," the WTO has said in a statement.
The US in its complaint before the WTO had in 2014, alleged that a clause relating to domestic content requirement for the procurement of solar cells and modules under phase-I and phase-II of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission were discriminatory to American solar power developers.
On 11 January 2010, India had launched its national solar policy, named Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. The country has an ambitious target of generating 20,000 megawatt (MW) of solar power by 2022. Many US companies are interested in supplying solar equipment to tap the growing sector in India.