Business worth billions of dollars is likely to follow for Indian and American firms, including defence contracts valued at upto $9 billion for Lockheed Martin, if the Congress approves the historic Indo-US civilian nuclear deal some time soon, a report said on Tuesday.
The House International relations Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee have last week overwhelmingly approved draft legislation seeking to make exemptions in US energy laws to enable Indo-US civilian nuclear cooperation.
Noting that the prospect of business opportunities worth billions of dollars helped fuel the deal, The Boston Globe daily said, "for Indian entrepreneurs, it is an opportunity to make money on privatised nuclear power plants and buy high-tech equipment that has been restricted for decades."
"For US businesses, it is a chance to invest in India's rapidly growing energy sector, to sell supplies to Indian nuclear reactors, and -- for the first time -- to have a shot at large-scale military contracts" it added.
"I believe that all things being equal, we will get a considerable portion of the $20 billion to $40 billion in acquisition that the Indians plan on making by 2020," said Raymond Vickery, senior adviser to US-India Business Council, who was a former senior official in Commerce Department of Bill Clinton's Administration.
Vickery said Congressional approval of the deal would give Lockheed Martin a reasonable chance to get a $4 billion to $9 billion contract to supply 126 combat fighter planes to India's Navy, a contract that India would have been unlikely to approve while sanctions were in place.