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'Mark up' may have major changes

The House International panel may ask for a provision seeking termination of the deal if India conducts more N-tests.

india Updated: Jun 28, 2006 02:45 IST

As the House International Committee takes up for fine-tuning on Tuesday a bill on Indo-US nuclear pact, substantive and procedural changes are expected to be part of the 'mark up'.

The 'mark up' final language may contain a provision seeking termination of the deal if India conducts another nuclear test.

The 18-member Senate Foreign Relations Committee has also said it will be taking up a bill on Wednesday to exempt from certain requirements of the 1954 Atomic Energy Act US exports to India of nuclear material, equipment and technology.

The Committee has other business also scheduled for the day such as giving approval to many diplomatic appointments including that of a US Ambassador to Sri Lanka but the nuclear deal will be the issue meriting most of the attention.

In both the House and the Senate the initiative is going to be on a bi-partisan basis with the House seeing a legislation called the Hyde-Lantos Bill and the Senate version of this going by the Lugar-Biden Bill.

The Bush Administration has said that it is backing the bi-partisan efforts on Capitol Hill even as it has made it known that it will be opposed to any fundamental changes in the agreement already negotiated with India.

Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns recently said that the administration will oppose "deal breakers".

Billed as one of the most important issues that Congress would have considered for the year, supporters of the deal in the 50-member House International Relations Committee with 27 Republicans and 23 Democrats have made the point this is not a partisan issue that is either going to divide the Committee or colour the vote in the Full House.

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