Efforts are on to settle solar power dispute between India and US, Nirmala Sitharaman tells Parliament

New Delhi: India and the US have engaged multiple times to settle the long-running solar power trade dispute through mutually agreed solution at the World Trade Organization (WTO), Parliament was informed on Wednesday.

The US in 2015 filed a dispute in the WTO on India's domestic content requirement in the procurement of solar cells and modules under Phase I and Phase II of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.

"India has defended its claims in WTO as per the provisions...," Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

Efforts are on to settle solar power dispute between India and US, Nirmala Sitharaman tells Parliament

Commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman. PTI

"WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism also allows parties to the dispute to settle such issues through mutually agreed solution. Under this provision, India and the US have engaged on a number of occasions," she said.

She said this in a reply to four questions related with solar power trade dispute with the US including whether India has now sought to reach an out-of-the court settlement with the US on this issue.

According to a top government source India and the US are talking over this issue.

In its interim report, WTOs dispute settlement panel in 2015 ruled that India's domestic content requirements under its solar power programme were inconsistent with the international norms. India has appealed the ruling.

The US has alleged that India's solar programme discriminates against the American solar equipment players by requiring energy producers in India to use locally manufactured cells and by offering subsidies to those who use domestic equipment.

The government has ambitious plans for deployment of 175 GW renewable power capacities by 2022, including 100 GW of solar and 60 GW of wind, which may require investment of around USD 150 billion in the next six years.

Replying to a separate question on WTO, the minister said developed countries have so far not made any proposals identifying the new issues that they intend to take up.

"It was agreed in Nairobi that any decision to launch negotiations multilaterally on such issues would have to be taken by consensus," she added.


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Updated Date: Feb 24, 2016 17:37:50 IST

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