PM Modi with US President Barack Obama (Press Trust of India)
Resolving to take forward the landmark civil nuclear deal, India and the US today decided to set up an inter-agency contact group to address liability and technical issues hindering installation of American-origin nuclear reactors in India.
From the Indian side, the inter-agency contact group will have representatives from Department of Atomic Energy, Ministry of External Affairs and Finance Ministry.
After a summit-level meeting with President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said both sides are serious about resolving issues relating to the civil nuclear deal at the earliest. "Both of us are committed to taking forward the civil nuclear partnership agreement. We are serious about resolving at the earliest issues relating to civil nuclear energy cooperation. This is important for India for meeting energy security needs," he said.
Vikram Doraiswami, Joint Secretary (Americas), in the Ministry of External Affairs, said the contact group will resolve the outstanding issues relating to nuclear trade between the two countries. "We are setting up an inter-agency contact group to be able to resolve all issues that are outstanding and hindering the rapid deployment of US-origin nuclear reactors in India, that includes specific mention of liability, it includes administrative issues and it includes technical issues," he said.
The Indo-US nuclear deal concluded between the previous UPA government and the Bush administration had been stalled because of issues relating to liability laws.
In the joint media event with PM Modi after their talks, President Obama said that India meets the standards of the Missile Technology
Control Regime (MTCR) and is "now ready" for the membership of the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a 48-member body which controls global nuclear trade.