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India May Appeal Against WTO’s Panel Ruling in Solar Case

WTO ruled against India, in favor of the US, in a case of inconsistencies in the case of solar panels.

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India
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India is likely to appeal against the World Trade Organisation (WTO)’s panel ruling that has stated that the country’s power purchase agreements with solar firms were “inconsistent” with international norms.

India has about three months time to appeal in the Appellate Body – WTO’s dispute settlement panel.

The decision to move to the Appellate Body – will be taken after consulting the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, an official source said.

The WTO ruling has come days after the foundation of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Headquarters was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 25 January in Gurgaon.

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Appellate Body

The Appellate Body is a standing body of seven persons that hears appeals from reports issued by panels in disputes brought by WTO Members.

The Body can uphold, modify or reverse the legal findings and conclusions of a panel, and the Body’s reports, once adopted by the Dispute Settlement Body, must be accepted by the parties to the dispute.

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Inconsistent With International Norms, American Developers’ Benefits “Nullified”

Ruling against India, the WTO said on Wednesday that the government’s power purchase agreements with solar firms were “inconsistent” with international norms.

The ruling came in a complaint fileed by the US before the global trade body alleging discrimination against American firms.

The US had dragged India to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on this issue in 2014, alleging that the clause relating to Domestic Content Requirement (DCR) in the country’s solar power mission were discriminatory in nature and “nullified” the benefits accruing to the American solar power developers.

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Earlier WTO Ruling Against India

This was the second case where India has lost against the US in WTO.

In June 2015, India lost a case when the WTO ruled that the Indian ban on import of poultry meat, eggs and live pigs from the US was inconsistent with the global norms.

The government had banned import of meat from the US citing an outbreak of avian influenza in the country, according to a report by The Indian Express.

Avian influenza refers to the disease caused by infection with avian (bird) influenza (flu) Type A viruses. These viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website

However, WTO had ruled that the US had seen no outbreak of the bird flu since 2004. The Indian Express also reported that the

Of the total meat consumption in the country, 96 percent is that of live birds, the report says.

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