WTO rules against India in solar dispute with US - newspaper

WTO rules against India in solar dispute with US - newspaper
Solar panels are seen inside the premises of the Jaisalmer Airport in desert state of Rajasthan, India, on August 13, 2015.
PHOTO: Reuters

WASHINGTON - The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has ruled against India in a dispute with the United States over its solar power programme, business newspaper Mint reported on Wednesday.

Mint quoted an unnamed official from the commerce ministry as saying the country planned to appeal the decision, made after the United States complained about domestic content requirements in a programme aimed at easing chronic energy shortages in India, Asia's third-largest economy.

India has said it expects peak power demand to double over the next five years from around 140,000 megawatts today. To help meet that demand, India wants 100,000 MW of new capacity from solar panels, with at least 8,000 MW from locally made cells.

The newspaper said the WTO dispute settlement panel, in a confidential report to New Delhi and Washington, found India violated global trade rules by imposing local content requirements for solar cells and solar modules, and also struck down incentive policies such as subsidies provided for domestic solar companies to manufacture cells and solar modules.

The WTO typically circulates decisions on disputes to the parties before they are made public.

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