A government source said that some member countries are worried India would interfere in the group’s functioning as the ISA Secretariat is based in the country
As more countries join the International Solar Alliance (ISA), the clamour over utilisation of funds is heating up. The 44 member nations party to the first assembly of ISA have sought clarity on the utilisation of funds and multilateral decision making.
Officially announced during the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris on November 30, 2015, the ISA is a partnership of solar resource-rich countries. At present, there are 121 countries that have agreed to be ISA members. Most of these are from Africa, Southeast Asia and Europe. Sixty-eight countries have signed the ISA framework, of which 44 have ratified their agreement.
Most of the member countries expressed apprehension over the dominant role of India in the alliance. A government source said that some member countries are worried India would interfere in the group’s functioning as the ISA Secretariat is based in the country. “Some members also pointed out that funds might flow into India more than other countries and there might also be cost overruns,” said the official.
The countries also asked for clarity over fund utilisation — if they are meant for operations and management of the ISA or to get projects off the ground. ISA has received $1 billion from Indian public sector companies such as NTPC, IREDA, PFC, and REC, among others. Japanese major SoftBank has also committed $1 billion to the alliance.
The Indian government representative added that the funds allocated for setting up the ISA Secretariat have been limited to a bare minimum.
The first assembly of the group is supposed to design governance, rules and regulations for its functioning.