India Allays US Over Concerns On Nuclear Liability
New Delhi signed an international treaty addressing the concern of the United States over the nuclear liability of India. This also assures a level of playing field for the US companies according to a senior official.
According to Robert Blake, the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affair the office believes that India did this treaty. He made the statement as response to the questions in a conference call with journalists in South Asia on Wednesday.
He said that, "I think as you saw in the Joint Statement, India announced that it has signed the Convention on Supplementary Compensation and they indicated they intended to ratify the CSC within the coming year and to ensure a level playing field for US companies.”
The US companies have been looking at India’s estimated $150 billion nuclear power pie and this has been baulked after the passage of the liability law that upholds suppliers liable for 80 years. This puts the landmark India-US civil nuclear deal in jeopardy.
"So this will continue to be a very high priority for the United States not only because this represents a huge commercial opportunity for our companies in India. But also because it will help our friends in India to meet their fast-growing energy needs and to diversify to new sources such as the civil nuclear, and increasingly also renewable energy where we're also working together," Blake said.
The government as well as the government part of the civil nuclear agenda had been completed and now the US companies have begun with the negotiations to help provide reactors that can meet India’s civil nuclear needs. The official also said that the biggest priorities are to move forward in all of the areas that President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh discussed during the US President’s visit in the country on November.
The US government also wanted to expand its global partnership into new areas like working together on trilateral cooperation in Afghanistan, Africa especially on non-proliferation, on climate change and in the UN Security Council where India is going to pick up its two-year rotation which will begin on January 1, 2011 according to Blake.