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Solar manufacturers at ease over WTO ruling upholding US complaint against India.

Date: 19-09-2016
Subject: Solar manufacturers at ease over WTO ruling upholding US complaint against India
NEW DELHI: Solar manufacturers are unfazed by the WTO's upholding of the US complaint against India as the ruling was along expected lines, but project developers who import equipment are worried that the government may retaliate by imposing duties.

Last week, the appellate body of the WTO upheld two earlier rulings by a WTO committee against the domestic content requirement in the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).

"We had known for the last couple of months that this would be the outcome," said HR Gupta, managing director of solar manufacturer IndoSolar and secretary of the Indian Solar Manufacturers Association. "It is business as usual for us. There are many other options to consume manufacturing capacity produced locally, including that of direct procurement by the government."

Others maintained India had already set about improving its solar manufacturing capabilities, so that the ruling would not matter in the long run. "Many companies, big and small, are beginning to set up fully integrated manufacturing facilities to build solar modules from scratch. That is the only way forward," said Pranav Mehta, chairman, National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI). Solar developers, who in any case buy most of their modules from foreign companies, especially Chinese, were also unfazed.

"PSUs will continue to buy local modules as they have been doing," said Sunil Jain, CEO, Hero Future Energies. "But if the government was to retaliate and impose anti-dumping duty on foreign modules, it could prove a problem for us." Re-imposing anti-dumping duty on solar modules, which was abolished in late 2014, would raise their cost for Indian developers, thereby rendering solar tariffs less competitive. "The government still has 12 months to figure out what to do," he said.

Source : economictimes.indiatimes.com

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