WTO verdict on India's solar dispute with US soon

"This will be the final meeting of the panel. After that, its ruling will come," an official said adding "we have kept our fingers crossed on the ruling".

New Delhi: The WTO ruling on the US' stand-off with India over the latter's solar power programme is expected soon as the dispute settlement panel of multilateral trade body will have its final meeting next week.

"This will be the final meeting of the panel. After that, its ruling will come," an official said adding "we have kept our fingers crossed on the ruling".

In February last year, the US had filed a complaint in the WTO alleging discrimination by India's national solar mission against American products.

After both the sides failed to reach an agreement to resolve the matter bilaterally, the US approached the WTO for formation of the dispute panel under the WTO's dispute settlement mechanism.

As per the procedure of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), consultation is the first stage of a complaint filed with the global trade body.

The US had alleged that India's programme appears to discriminate against US solar equipment by requiring solar energy producers to use locally manufactured cells and by offering subsidies to those developers who use domestic equipment.

It is also alleged that forced localisation requirements restrict US exports to India markets.

On January 11, 2010, India launched its national solar policy -- the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.

India has an ambitious target of generating 20,000 megawatts of solar power by 2022.

US companies, which have large manufacturing facilities, want to export solar power equipment to India which they consider as market with huge potential. The US solar industry wants India to remove the clause of local content requirement.

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