Foreign firms offered solar leeway

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India has offered a compromise solution to the US with whom it’s battling a case over domestic equipment requirement for solar power projects.

New Delhi is now believed to have told the US negotiators that it is willing to allow imported equipment in private solar projects but state-run projects will buy locally-manufactured parts.

In August last year, the country had lost the case against the US at the World Trade Organization (WTO), which ruled that it was illegal for India to impose domestic content (equipment) requirement obligation for solar cells and modules.India has appealed against this ruling and a fresh hearing is expected soon.Officials said India believed that the new arrangement fulfiled WTO rules.In 2014, the US had dragged India to the WTO on the country’s solar mission plan. The US alleged that the programme appeared to discriminate against US solar equipment by requiring solar energy producers to use locally manufactured cells and by offering subsidies to those developers who used domestic components.It also alleged that forced localisation requirements restricted US exports to India.Following this, New Delhi had initiated anti-dumping investigations against US solar panels. However, in August 2014, the government dropped the proposal to enforce anti-dumping duties.

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