After working "tirelessly" for securing a waiver for India from the Nuclear Suppliers' Group for trade in the atomic energy, the US on Monday said its next aim is to make New Delhi a "full partner" in the nuclear cartel.
"President Bush, Secretary of State and the entire administration had worked tirelessly to ensure that India reached the stage where it has today in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)," Assistant Secretary (Market Access and Compliance) in the US Department of Commerce David Bohigian said in New Delhi.
Bohigian said Bush and the Congress administration would continue to work to "make India a full partner in this group (NSG) which we think is crucial... From a strategic, political, economic and energy standpoint".
He said the US administration would be working through the Congress and the Hyde Act to ensure $100 billion r market for American companies.
"The next step for the US (administration) will be working through the Congress and the Hyde Act and make sure that business opportunities will enable the US firms to stay in what is estimated to be $100 billion market," the official said at a CII seminar.
He said atomic energy would play an important role for economic development of India. "When you look at the energy map of 2020 and beyond, certainly nuclear has a key role to play in India's growth which we welcome," Bohigian said.
According to industry body Assocham, about 40 companies, including Videocon, have already started talks with foreign firms to set up nuclear power plants envisaging a total investment of about Rs 2,00,000 crore in India.
"We have asked the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for amendments in the legislations to facilitate the entry of private sector in generation of nuclear power," Videocon group head Venugopal Dhoot said.