India will appeal against WTO’s panel ruling that the country’s power purchase agreements with solar firms are inconsistent with international norms. “The government will be appealing against the ruling of the WTO’s dispute settlement panel in the WTO’s appellate body.
The commerce ministry is advising the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE),” an official said. The official also said that instead of filing 16 cases against the US for giving protection to solar panel producers in violation of WTO norms, the commerce ministry would suggest a single comprehensive case.
Recently, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said 16 cases would soon be filed against the US for giving protection to solar panel producers in breach of WTO norms. In the US, there are 16 programmes in different states where they offer protection to solar panel producers which are completely in violation of WTO guidelines, he had said further.
The appellate body is a standing body of seven persons that hears appeals from reports issued by panels in disputes involving WTO members. The body can uphold, modify or reverse legal findings and conclusions of a panel, and the body’s reports, once adopted by the Dispute Settlement Body, must be accepted by the parties to the dispute.
Ruling against India, WTO had said the government’s power purchase agreements with solar firms were “inconsistent” with international norms — a matter in which the US had filed a complaint before the global trade body alleging discrimination against American firms.
The US had dragged India to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on this issue in 2014, alleging that the clause relating to domestic content requirement (DCR) in the country’s solar power mission was discriminatory in nature and “nullified” benefits accruing to the American solar power developers.