BENGALURU: Government is in talks with the US over a dispute at global trade body WTO on a solar mission and would decide on filing suits against the western country based on the outcome of the talks, Union Power Minister PiyushGoyal said today.
“The Indian government believes in discussion, dialogue, consultation and resolution of issues, rather than going through the legal processes, which are usually long-drawn,” he told reporters here.
“Therefore, after having acceded to that request, consultations are going on. Should the United States agree to our point of view, which is a very honest and fair point of view. We may not need to file those cases. If they do not agree with our point of view, we can always file those cases,” he said.
The Minister, who was here to review Karnataka’s coal, power and mining sectors, said the government was on the verge of filing seven of the 16 cases initially after receiving the request from the United States for bilaterla discussions and consultations.
India’s ambitious Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission was in the eye of a storm after the US filed a case in WTO against the government’s support to the programme.
The WTO had subsequently ruled that the government’s support to the programme contradicts trade-related investment measures signed by India. The solar mission aims to generate one lakh MW of electricity through solar installations.
On ultra mega power projects, Goyal said the union cabinet would take an early decision on the standard bid document which will facilitate auctioning of domestic coal-based four or five UMPPs.
“UMPP is now before the cabinet. I am sure it will take an early decision on this,” he said. The government was looking at making sure that these projects were not afflicted with problems including environmental clearances, which earlier UMPPs faced.
He also said the country was having surplus power capacity, as of now, and there was no pressing and tearing hurry, and would rather do it smartly and efficiently.
Asked about coal linkage policy for regulated sector, Goyal said it could happen any day, adding the government was running a transparent process and there would be an equal opportunity given.
Most of the linkages will be given to the states so that they can use them efficiently for their power purchase.
“Finally, we will have a situation where coal linkage and power purchase agreement will be packaged into one so that the stranded power plants also get chance to re-function,” he said.
On state-run Coal India Limited approving buyback of 10.89 crore shares worth Rs 3,650 crore, Goyal said the investors would benefit from it and the move was a reflection that the PSU was performing ‘exceedingly well’.