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Indo-US poultry case: India may challenge WTO panel ruling

India is likely to challenge a WTO panel’s ruling which had described the country’s ban on American poultry product imports as inconsistent with global norms.

The Department of Commerce is working on the “feasibility of filing an appeal against the WTO’s panel report” in consultation with the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, sources said.

In its ruling on October 14, the WTO panel had said that India’s measures are “arbitrarily and unjustifiably discriminate between Members where identical or similar conditions prevail and are applied in a manner which constitutes a disguised restriction on international trade”.

India has 60 days to appeal before the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organisation against the decision of the dispute settlement panel.

In March 2012, the US had dragged India to the WTO against India’s ban on imports of certain American farm products, including poultry meat and eggs. India had banned imports of various agricultural products from the US in 2007, as a precautionary measure to prevent outbreaks of Avian Influenza in the country.

India is one of the potential market for the US which is one of the world’s largest exporter of chicken meat.

According to a report, India’s broiler meat consumption is increasing and may touch 3.72 million tonnes in 2014 from 3.45 million tonnes in 2013.

Further, India and the US are also engaged in consultations on another dispute at the WTO with regard to New Delhi’s solar mission plan.

In February, the US had dragged India to WTO on country’s solar mission plan and alleged that the plan discriminates against American products.

Sources said that after the constitution of a panel, the US made its written submission on October 24 and India will be making its written submission on December 5.

After filing of a complaint by a member, the WTO sets up dispute settlement panel to examine the complaint.

On January 11, 2010, India launched its national solar policy. India has an ambitious target of generating 20,000 megawatts of solar power by 2022.

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