All countries must keep N-option: PM | delhi | Hindustan Times
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All countries must keep N-option: PM

delhi Updated: Apr 17, 2011 22:35 IST
HT Correspondent

Despite the crisis in the Fukushima plant in Japan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that nuclear power is "one of the essential options which all countries must keep".

He said this was especially true given the twin problems of climate change and energy security.

Speaking on his return trip from a state visit to Kazakhstan, Singh admitted there was a certain "nervousness about the extensive use of nuclear energy even for peaceful purpose" after the multiple reactor disaster in Japan.

Singh has repeatedly iterated his support for nuclear power while he was traveling overseas.

He said "there would be a reconsideration of nuclear energy" when "cool-headed discussions take place about the future of energy."

The climate change implications of using coal and other hydrocarbons alone meant that the nuclear option could not be taken off the table.

Speaking on excess volatility in commodity prices, he said, "The Brics by themselves cannot control [excess volatility in commodity prices]. This has to be a collective international effort. We have all agreed that the Group of Twenty is the appropriate international forum to discuss global economic issues. I am confident that when [French President Nicholas] Sarkozy convenes the meeting of the G-20 later in the year, issues like fluctuations and volatility of food and oil prices will figure high on the agenda."

As far as increase in membership of Brics was concerned, he said the issue did not come up for discussion in the meetings.

He also spoke on the issue of trade imbalance with China.

"We import goods and services which give rise to the severe trade imbalance [between India and China]. President Hu Jintao recognised that it is a problem. I specifically mentioned two areas, the pharmaceutical industry and the other IT. These happen to be the sector where we feel the Chinese could do more…" he said.

"[Hu] did say that he recognized that China has also the responsibility to tackle the problem of trade imbalances," he added.

Talking about the goals of his Pakistan policy, he said, "If I can succeed in normalizing relations between India and Pakistan, as they should prevail between two normal states, I will consider my job well done".

He also talked about anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare saying that he respected him as an important leader, who has done lot of good work in rural development which is why the whole country respected him.