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Indo-US N-deal to open trade: Congressman

A Republican lawmaker has said the nuke deal would open trade and investment between both countries.

india Updated: May 12, 2006 08:56 IST

Asking Congress to support the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, a Republican lawmaker has said it would open trade and investment between both countries in the nuclear energy sector and also give India the opportunity to create alternatives to "oil dependency".

Testifying before the House International Relations Committee, Jim Kolbe said in Washington that "civil nuclear cooperation will open Indo-US trade and investment in nuclear energy for the first time in three decades, increasing opportunities for US firms. And in turn creating jobs here at home".

He also pointed out that the agreement, on which Congress will legislate, would give India the opportunity to create "alternatives to oil dependency".

He said the US must help India become "fully independent of all foreign assistance, achieve self sufficiency and join US as a donor nation" and called the agreement an "important opportunity" to achieve it.

Kolbe said that India had stayed true to the "letter and intent" of the non-proliferation treaty even though it was a non-signatory.

"If Congress enacts this legislation, India will have tougher nuclear scrutiny than is given to China, Russia and the major nuclear powers. None of these countries' reactors are under any inspection regime. India would place atleast two-thirds of its programme under the direct eye of the International Atomic Energy Agency," he said.

He also stressed the importance of the deal vis-a-vis American security concerns over Iran.

First Published: May 12, 2006 08:56 IST