Will file cases against US for WTO norms violation: Goyal

Pune, April 10 (IANS) Charging Western nations with adopting double standards in their approach to climate change, Power Minister Piyush Goyal has said India file 16 cases against the US for giving protection to solar panel producers in violation of World Trade Oragnsiation (WTO) norms.

“The US, which is articulating the inconvenient truth, while India is doing convenient action, uses seven times more coal per capita than India. Even on clean energy finance, the developed world has spoken a lot and done zilch,” Goyal said on Saturday evening at a lecture here jointly organized by the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce and Pune International Centre.

“I am going to file 16 cases against the US for their violation of the WTO norms. Our international solar alliance rests on this. If a large country like India is subjected to this, then imagine what happens to the country in the underdeveloped world,” he said.

Declaring that American obstruction and pressures would not be acceptable to India, he said: “It amazes me that a country which talks of encouraging renewable energy goes to the WTO against India and says why did you put up 400 MW of domestically produced panels.

“You should have allowed us to compete even in those 400 MW, which India has domestically made and put up. They go to the WTO, win a case and tom tom about it as a contribution to renewable energy in the world,” he said.

In the US, there are 16 programmes in different states giving protection to solar panel producers, which are completely in violation of WTO norms, Goyal added.

Calling the recently launched India-inspired International Solar Alliance a demonstration of India’s concern for issues of climate change, he said the traditional ethos of conservation makes India a natural country to lead global efforts to tackle climate change.

At an International Finance Corporation event in New Delhi earlier this week, Goyal, who also holds the renewable energy portfolio, had urged the West to “show some magnanimity” and keep renewable energy out of the WTO framework.

“I don’t see any reason why the West could not show some magnanimity and keep renewables out of the WTO framework, particularly when Indian manufacturers had such a large heart and had withdrawn the anti-dumping request, which had been ruled in their favour and could have imposed huge anti-dumping duties on the US,” he said.

Urging industry here to adopt solar in the local rural and urban areas, Goyal said the cost of solar power is cheaper than that from conventional fossil fuels and the tariff remains same for 25 years.

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