According to reports, faced with the US’ complaint to the WTO, the government will hold consultations with domestic solar energy producers next week on their ability to supply equipment for the ambitious national solar mission.
India had made provisions in the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission to source certain equipment for setting up solar energy plants from domestic producers with an aim to give a boost to the industry which was being overtaken by Chinese, Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah said.
Speaking at the India Energy Congress here, Abdullah said there were two groups within the country–one favouring local content and another which has “very strongly” opposed it.
“We are getting both sides face to face to decide which side is really right,” he said urging those favouring local content to present their case strongly at the consultations to be held on February 15.
“Local content is going to go if you do not defend your position very strongly,” Abdullah said.
The US Trade Representative (USTR) has alleged that India’s solar mission 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.
“Whatever we do, we have done the right thing. We will defend ourselves at whatever forum. Our commitments are to the international treaties we are signatories to and to national interest,” said Ratan P Watal, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.