10 September, 2019
0 Min Read
|GS-II||A minor win for India at WTO.|
|India’s vape ban only deprives smokers of safer options.|
|India Iodine Survey 2018-19 Report|
|Registration of steel and iron imports.||Economic Issues|
GS-II: A minor win for India at WTO
A WTO panel in June accepted India’s claim in a dispute concerning U.S. regulations on the domestic content requirement in the production of renewable energy.
The dispute and the Verdict:
The dispute revolved around certain States in the U.S. that give incentives to local producers in the form of tax rebates, refunds, and credits when they produce renewable energy using locally manufactured products.
Article III of the WTO’s General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) requires that countries do not provide less favorable treatment to ‘like products’ originating from other nations.
A solar PVC manufactured in the U.S. should be liable to the same amount of tax as one made anywhere else in the world.
WTO’s determine whether an item is a ‘like product’ based on a product’s end-use, composition, substitutability, consumer preferences, and tariff classifications.
In this case, the U.S. conceded that the import from India was a ‘like product’.
But the U.S. argued that the figures quoted by India showing growth in the number of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed in Washington State between 2005 and 2015 do not support the argument that additional incentives have induced wide-scale adoption of locally made renewable energy products.
WTO panel rejected this argument, stating that Washington State’s additional incentive accords an advantage on the use of local products not available for ‘like imported products’.
There are various other disputes pending between the countries at the WTO involving the export promotion scheme brought in by India and the imposition of excess customs duty on steel and aluminium by the U.S.
GS-II: India’s vape ban only deprives smokers of safer options
The world has embraced electronic cigarettes, commonly known as vapes, and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) as harm-reduction alternatives to combustible tobacco used in cigarettes.
India – Tobacco
A ban on a widely accepted alternative to smoking regular cigarettes not only prevents consumers from making a less harmful choice, but it may also result in an illicit trade turning rampant. We need to check the entry of dangerous counterfeits and deny vulnerable groups access to these products via the black market.
GS-III: UN Peacekeeping
India has told the UN Security Council that peacekeeping currently is in a “no-man’s land” and called for next generation of reforms in peacekeeping based on incentivisation, innovation and institutionalization.
Need for reforms
Need of hour: Institutionalization
GS-II: India Iodine Survey 2018-19 Report
Tamil Nadu has the lowest consumption of iodized salt despite being the third biggest producer of salt in the country, according to a first-of-its-kind national survey to measure the coverage of iodised salt.
Highlights of the Survey
Salt production in India
Significance of Iodised Salt
The key recommendation of the study is to sustain the momentum so that iodine coverage does not fall below current levels.
It also recommends that the States and the Centre work together to address the current gaps and look into issues that vary from one State to another, leading to adequately iodised salt not being produced.
GS-III: Registration of steel and iron imports.
In a bid to clamp down on the dumping of iron and steel imports and also the over and under invoicing of these products the government has removed these items from the ;free category and has made it mandatory for importers to apply in advance for registration of their import.
Import and Export of Iron & Steel
Price regulation of iron & steel was abolished on January 16, 1992. Since then steel prices are determined by the interplay of market forces.
Domestic steel prices are influenced by trends in raw material prices, demand – supply, conditions in the market, and international price trends among others.
As a facilitator, the Government monitors the steel market conditions and adopts fiscal and other policy measures based on its assessment. Currently, GST of 18% is applicable on steel and there is no export duty on steel items.
A Steel Price Monitoring Committee has been constituted by the Government with the aim to monitor price rationalization, analyze price fluctuations and advise all concerned regarding any irrational price behaviour of steel commodity.
To avoid any distortion in prices in view of ad-hoc and rising imports, the Government had taken several steps including raising import duty and imposed a gamut of measures including anti-dumping and safeguard duties on a host of applicable iron and steel items.
Problems of Iron and Steel Industry:
The Indian steel industry has entered into a new development stage, post de-regulation, riding high on the resurgent economy and rising demand for steel.
Huge scope for growth is offered by India’s comparatively low per capita steel consumption and the expected rise in consumption due to increased infrastructure construction and the thriving automobile and railways sectors.
The New Industrial Policy Regime provides opportunities for growth of Iron and Steel in private sector.
The Government has also announced a policy for providing preference to domestically manufactured Iron & Steel products in Government procurement.
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