inching towards consensus on n-deal, says Kamal Nath
June 13 (IANS) India is moving inch by inch towards a political
consensus over its stalled civil nuclear deal with the US
and would arrive there at some point, according to its Commerce
Minister Kamal Nath.
minister gave this cryptic reply about the fate of the deal
in the face of unrelenting opposition from the Indian coalition
government's leftist supporters, at the US-India Global Partnership
Summit, organised by the US-India Business Council (USIBC).
are trying to evolve a broad political consensus on the issue,"
he told TV show host Charlie Rose at the event. "That's
what we did on economic reforms."
was moving forward on the issue, the minister said, describing
the nuclear deal as basically an energy agreement, which would
help India's energy security while recognising India's responsibility
record of non-proliferation.
that there were apprehensions about the agreement in both
countries, Kamal Nath said: "We are moving towards a
political consensus inch by inch. At some point we will arrive
former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger asked anxious
business executives to let New Delhi come to a decision on
the nuclear deal on its own as Indian and American interests
were so parallel.
have been involved in encouraging India towards the nuclear
deal," said the elder statesman. "It's now an Indian
"does not need any lectures. It understands the imperatives
of each decision," he said. "When the decision is
made, we will either welcome it or live with it."
no matter what decision India takes, the relations between
the two countries would be stronger, Kissinger said.
Ambassador Ronen Sen noted that India and US had finalised
the implementing 123 agreement as also the necessary safeguards
agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
building blocks of civil nuclear cooperation are in place.
I sincerely hope that we take it to its logical conclusion."
from the agreement with the IAEA, which it has not signed
yet due leftist parties' opposition, India also needs to get
the approval of the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)
before the US Congress can give its go-ahead to the deal.
officials have time and again reminded Delhi that it would
be difficult to get Congressional approval for the implementing
123 agreement in an election year unless it comes up before
the legislature before end June.
Business Council (USIBC) Chairperson Indra K. Nooyi said if
India continues on its current growth path, its energy demand
will double by 2030. By then it will have overtaken Japan
as the world's third largest net importer of oil, after the
US and China.
India's energy needs will be mostly met by imports, it raised
serious questions about the security of the security of the
also lends support to the rationale for India to end its nuclear
isolation and engage the world in civil nuclear cooperation,"
the India-born CEO of the $40 billion soft drink major PepsiCo
said at the USIBC summit.
summit honoured Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman & CEO of
Bharati Enterprises, Ustad Zakir Hussain, tabla maestro, and
Kenneth Chenault, chairman and CEO of American Express, for
their respective contributions in bringing India and the US