India has assured the World Trade Organisation that future Indian solar programmes will comply with the multilateral body’s rules on the sourcing of local equipment. A government official said India hoped to continue with the present set of provisions in the ongoing second phase of its Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), but introduce WTO compliance from the third phase onwards. The assurance was given at a meeting of the multilateral body’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), which adopted the Appellate Body’s findings that Indian norms for mandatory domestic sourcing of solar cells and modules were inconsistent with WTO rules, an official close to the development said. The meeting took place in Geneva on Friday.
The US had dragged India to the WTO three years ago for the domestic content requirements under the JNNSM. It subsequently won the case as India was not able to prove that the sourcing of the equipment was part of government procurement where there were no restrictions on localisation. New Delhi said while it did not agree with all the findings, it would inform the DSB of its intentions to implement the ruling within 30 days, as per WTO rules. South African Trade Minister Rob Davies recently told BusinessLine that BRICS countries needed to jointly figure out how to continue with local sourcing policies without flouting WTO rules.