Malaysia has sought
consultations with India under the WTO's
safeguard agreement against New Delhi's decision to impose import duty on solar
cells, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) said 31 August 2018.
The consultations, however, don't fall under the
WTO's dispute settlement system.
Earlier this month, India had imposed safeguard duty
of up to 25 per cent on solar cells imports from China and Malaysia for two
years to protect domestic players from steep rise in inbound shipments.
However, on August 13, the finance ministry
stated that safeguard duty will not be insisted upon on import of solar cells
for the "time being" in deference to interim directions passed by the
High Court of Orissa.
Malaysia has stated that it has a substantial
interest as an exporter of the product.
"The aim of the consultations is to
exchange views and seek clarification regarding the proposed measures and
reaching an understanding on ways to achieve the objectives" set out in an
article of the WTO Agreement on Safeguards, the WTO said in a
"Malaysia seeks to hold consultations as
soon as possible with the participation of representatives from India
investigating authorities. Malaysia looks forward to receiving India's response
to this request," it added.
According to an expert, seeking consultations to
the safeguard committee is a way to inform other countries that they are not
fulfilling their commitments under the WTO rules.
Solar cells, electrical devices that convert
sunlight directly into electricity, are imported primarily from China,
Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan.
Imports of the cells from these countries
account for more than 90 per cent of the total inbound shipments in the country.