Sharma defends solar mission’s focus on domestic content

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Anand Sharma
Anand Sharma

Defending the solar mission’s focus on domestic content requirement, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, on Tuesday, said India would deal ‘appropriately’ with the U.S. contention of Indian ‘protectionism’ at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

“India will respond adequately at the WTO,” Mr. Sharma told reporters here on Tuesday.

On Monday, the U.S. challenged ‘domestic content’ requirement in the solar mission, alleging that it is ‘discriminatory’ and against international norms, including WTO laws, and badly affects the American domestic solar panel manufacturing industry.

“We are also clear that India has to create domestic manufacturing capacities. India must have those capacities. Otherwise, we will end up importing for the rest of our lives,” Mr. Sharma said, adding that the solar mission also involved heavy subsidies and public money should not be used pay for imports.

Mr. Sharma also hinted that India might respond to the U.S. action with a counter application. “We may also have some issues, even with regard to the solar mission. We may also have an application that we may move to the WTO,” he said, without specifying details. —PTI

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