Mob Control Manager
- Feb 12, 2009
Indo-US nuclear deal plays out in slow motion
Negotiations for a reprocessing agreement is yet to start, because Washington, Indian officials said, was yet to set a date. India is insistent that a reprocessing deal is absolutely necessary for the nuclear deal to be meaningful. The deal said negotiations would start within six months of the signing of the agreement, but the US is yet to do so. The newly nominated US undersecretary of state for arms control, Ellen Tauscher, told the US Senate at her confirmation hearing that negotiations would start before August 2. In her hearing, she even promised that the entire process of implementing the deal would be completed a year from that date. Given the present pace, there is some scepticism here, and it's not clear whether US tardiness is just bureaucratic or deliberate.
Indian public and private entities seeking to reap early harvests from the deal have complained that around a score of licenses for nuclear and conventional dual use technologies and equipment are hanging fire with the US administration. The nuclear deal transferred dual-use licensing from presumptions of denial to presumptions of approval — but from all accounts, the Obama administration is yet to approve. Sources here said it would help if a political statement of intent from the top levels of the US government were sent down the system.
Sanctions and bans remain on Indian entities by the US despite the deal, these haven't yet been lifted.