Months after the US won a case against India in the World Trade Organization (WTO), Minister of State for power, coal, new and renewable energy Piyush Goyal said on Saturday that the government intends to file 16 cases against it for allegedly violating WTO treaties.
Goyal, who was speaking at the Pune International Centre on ‘India’s efforts in shaping the Global Solar Alliance’, also said that the government would soon announce a new policy to further help the domestic solar manufacturing industry.
“It amazes me that a country (the US) which speaks of encouraging green energy goes to the WTO against us and asks as to why we put up 400 MW of domestic production facility and says that we should have allowed it to compete in those 400 MW facilities too,” he said.
“India does not bow to this kind of pressure and it will fight it out and appeal. I will continue to protect every domestic manufacturer and take every solar equipment that is produced here,” the minister said.
“We did try to reach a settlement and almost reached one with the United States Trade Representative on how to deal with this, and then they threw a bombshell,” he said. The US wanted to demonstrate to the world a trade victory, he pointed out.
“I will soon come out with a policy to further encourage manufacturing in India. In fact, I am going to file 16 cases of their violations of WTO policies,” he added.
The minister further said that while the US goes to WTO and wins a case against India for protecting its domestic manufacturing industry, it continues to protect its own domestic industry. Other than appealing against the recent WTO ruling, Goyal said that the government would continue to support domestic manufacturers.
India’s ambitious Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission was in the eye of a storm after the US filed a case against the government’s support to the programme. The WTO had subsequently ruled that the government’s support to the programme contradicts trade-related investment measures signed by India.
The solar mission aims to generate one lakh MW of electricity through solar installations. Goyal said that the government has already opened up contracts of 21,000 MW power generation with the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). This year, the installations have added 3,500 MW power to the grid, which would go up to 12,000 MW next year.
Making a strong plea to industries for adopting solar energy, Goyal said that solar power is cheaper than conventional energy, whose tariff remains same for 25 years.
Goyal added that the government would also encourage installation of rooftop solar electricity generation plants and has
targeted generation of 40,000 MW from this channel. On the ambitious programme of replacing 770 million incandescent bulbs by LED bulbs, the minister said that till date more than nine crore bulbs have been replaced by the PSU Energy Efficiency Services Limited.