India-International Relations Current Affairs

EU, France give 3.5 Million Euros as Grant to Curb Emissions in India

EU and France will give a grant of 3.5 million euros to three Indian cities- Nagpur, Kochi and Ahmedabad as part of the EU’s commitment under the Paris Climate agreement to curb emissions and promote sustainability in these cities.

Salient Highlights

The grants have been provided to help India’s smart city programme under the ‘Moblise Your City’ (MYC) initiative.
India has become the first country to get benefits from the MYC initiative.
The MYC initiative is supported by the French and German government and also has financial support of the European Union (EU). The initiative is aimed at helping 100 cities across the world to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by promoting sustainable urban transport and sustainability in urban spaces.
MYC initiative was emphasised by the Indian and European leaders during Prime Minister Modi’s recent visit to Europe.
Further it has been stated that more funds would be offered to India to carry forward its sustainable transport initiatives on the three smart cities.

Background

French Development Agency (AFD) has been associated with several projects in India and conservation of biodiversity. AFD, at present, is funding the Vijayawada, Lucknow, Bengaluru, Kochi and Nagpur metro rail projects.

AFD is a public financial institution of France whose mandate is to implement the policy defined by the French government. It is headquartered in Paris. It finances projects in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean and the French overseas territories to promote living conditions for populations and economic growth in these regions.

France is the ninth largest foreign investor in India.

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India moves WTO against US

India has moved the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against the US as it has not yet complied with the rulings of the WTO pertaining to imposition of high import duty on certain Indian steel products.

In December 2014, the WTO’s appellate body pronounced a ruling against the act of US which is imposing high import duty on certain Indian steel products. It had ruled that the imposition of import duty on steel products was inconsistent with various provisions of the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.  

The Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (the SCM Agreement) – addresses two separate but closely related matters-The multilateral disciplines on the use of subsidies and the conditions under which Members may apply countervailing measures.

India has sought consultation with the US for compliance of the WTO’s rulings. If the US refuses to comply then India has planned to approach the WTO’s compliance panel.

In order to comply with the WTO rulings on countervailing duties on imports of hot-rolled carbon steel products from India, the US needs to amend its domestic norms.

Earlier, the US had moved the arbitration panel of the WTO against India as it complained that India had failed to remove trade restrictions on American poultry.

WTO

The WTO is an inter-governmental organization for governments to negotiate global trade agreements and progressively liberalizing trade. The WTO operates a system of trade rules that apply to all its members. The WTO is also a place for Member governments to settle their trade disputes. Its located in Geneva, Switzerland. It was established on 1 January 1995 and its official languages are English, French and Spanish.

Countervailing duties are those duties that are imposed by a country to counter the negative impact of import subsidies to protect domestic producers.

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