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New Delhi has accused the US of double standards on solar trade, saying its World Trade Organization or WTO victory against India promoting its domestic solar energy players is unjust when it itself uses the same protection in its own states.

Speaking to NDTV in New York, India's Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal said India has found that 16 states in the US "have similar Domestic Content Requirements when they procure solar panels for their energy needs". The minister also added that "it is very unfortunate that the US on one side continues to have its own Domestic Content Requirement and purchase of solar equipment giving preference to domestic manufacturers and on the other hand, chooses to go against the developing world."

Pointing out to the restraint shown by the government in imposing anti-dumping duties on American manufacturers, even when it had won the right to do so in a recent ruling, Mr Goyal said "domestic manufacturers showed magnanimity" and added that "the US should have reciprocated with a similar gesture." "(It is) very unfortunate that they took this route rather than promoting renewable energy in developing countries," he said.

A World Trade Organization panel ruled in February in favour of a US claim that India's rules restricting what products can be used in its solar industry breach international trade regulations. WTO's dispute settlement board ruled that India's requirement that only Indian-made products be used in large parts of its rapidly expanding solar power industry were "inconsistent" with a range of global trade regulations.

On Wednesday, India filed an appeal against the WTO decision and is awaiting the final decision of its highest court - the Appellate Authority - to strike down its lower panel ruling that denied the Indian government's local content requirements for solar cells and modules. India has said it will file 16 cases against the US violations of WTO policies at the United Nations in New York during Minister Goyal's visit, but is yet to do so.

Strongly reiterating that the ruling will not deter India's support to domestic manufacturers, Mr. Goyal said "on the contrary we are coming out with a new policy which will encourage further domestic manufacturing in India and are fully committed to India becoming a leading solar equipment manufacturer in the near future."

Tag(s) : #Asia-Pacific

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