Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Sunday, May 26, 2002
Industry & Economy - WTO
India seeks time to apply WTO auto ruling
CHENNAI, May 25
INDIA has sought time from the World Trade Organisation to implement the dispute settlement body (DSB) ruling on the country's automobile policy.
"India would need a reasonable period of time to implement the recommendations and rulings of the DSB on the measures affecting the automotive sector," it told a DSB meeting this week.
It also expressed willingness to discuss the issue with the European Community (EC) and the US, the two complainants against India's automobile policy.
India is likely to get time at least till January 2003 to implement the DSB ruling. This is in view of the fact that the dispute panel, set up by the DSB, gave its ruling in December 2001.
In normal course, a country found to be contravening WTO rules gets a minimum of 13 months to implement a ruling. The US was given a similar timeframe to implement a ruling on the ban it imposed on shrimp imports from India, Pakistan and Thailand on environment grounds that turtle extruder devices were not being used during shrimp harvesting.
Both the US and the EC have agreed to India's plea, saying they "look forward to discussing this question".
India, the US and the EC are now expected to work out the timeframe among themselves. Any failure to arrive at the timeframe will lead to an arbitrary panel deciding on it.
The dispute panel found India's automobile policy "inconsistent with GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) 1994" on two grounds. They were: conditions for indigenisation on the part of foreign carmakers setting up units in the country and export obligations.
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