Piyush Goyal says will continue sourcing from domestic players
Power minister Piyush Goyal said on Saturday that India will appeal against the US at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in the solar dispute ruling about India protecting domestic solar manufacturing through localisation policies. He said the country would file 16 cases against the US and would continue to source every piece of equipment by domestic manufacturers.
The US had won a ruling against India at the WTO in February this year after challenging the rules on the origin of solar cells and solar modules used in India’s national solar power programme.
“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 on Saturday. “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 said it is because of domestic manufacturers that the country could procure equipment at costs 40% lower than before. This has also helped in bringing down cost of solar power and making it cheaper than fossil power. The cost of solar power will go down to below `4 per unit with some innovative
financing, Goyal said. “It amazes me that a country which talks of encouraging renewable energy goes to the WTO against India,” he 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 demonstrated to the world a trade victory, he pointed out.
Speaking in Pune on Saturday at the Pune International Centre India’s efforts in shaping the Global Solar Alliance, the minister questioned the American interpretation of free trade. America had the right to protect their domestic industries but emerging countries should open their boundaries to allow foreign capital and goods to flow in, he said. “This complete opening up should be a two-way traffic. You have surplus capital and technology which you want to hawk and India has human capital. Let’s have a fair trade,” the minister said. The US has 16 programmes where it offers protection to domestic manufacturers in the US.
India has a target of one lakh megawatt of electricity generation from solar energy by 2022 and is going to meet this target, he said.