India’s Solar Policy Compromise Move at WTO Alarms Local Cos

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Domestic solar manufacturers are alarmed over a proposal the government has sent to the World Trade Organization, seeking compromise in the dispute over the domestic content requirement in India’s solar programme, prompting some firms to put their expansion on hold.“We wanted to double manufacturing capacity from 500 mw to 1,000 mw per year but now we won’t be doing so until there is clarity in government policy,“ said Hitesh Doshi, chairman at solar module manufacturer Waree Energies Ltd.The dispute began in February 2013, when the US protested to WTO that domestic content requirement (DCR) component in Phase II of India’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission was inconsistent with three separate agreements reached at WTO, to which India was a signatory .DCR provides all solar developers who opt for locally made panels and modules a subsidy of up to ` . 1 crore for every megawatt installed.The US argued that this denied global players a level playing field. In August 2015, a dispute resolution panel set up by WTO ruled against India.

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