Noting that there is a need to keep working on parts of the Indo-US civilian
nuclear deal, US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell hoped Americans would be able
to compete on a level playing field for creation of nuclear energy projects in
"We need to celebrate parts of it (deal) and we need to keep working on parts of
it," Powell said when asked to comment on the "big hoopla" that was created
(over the deal) during President George W Bush’s time and if we should be
The Ambassador was speaking at an interaction organised by the Asia Society here
"The part for the Americans that we need to keep, I would say there are two
parts we need to keep working on. Our hope was that India would join many of the
international agreements that were on trade and nuclear technology and products.
That hasn't happened yet. It is in process. It is moving a little more slowly
than we hoped but it is a part of what we would have hoped would come out of the
civilian nuclear deal."
"The other piece is the hope that Americans would be able to compete on a level
playing field for creation of nuclear energy in projects in India. And there are
some things that I still think are in the way, they are roadblocks. They are not
great big skyscraper tall walls but they are (still) roadblocks. And we would
like to get them down, at least the speed bumps initially and then get the
surface flattened out," she said.
Powell said these are "some very technical agreements that we hope can conclude
in the next few months over the nuclear regulatory people that are here in
Mumbai and in this area."
"The second piece is dealing with the liability issue.
American nuclear energy is run by private sector. Those companies with their
boards of directors look at what liabilities they would accept in taking a deal
and right now the legislation as drafted is not where the international standard
is," Powell said.
"That is our companies' view and we are trying to make sure that they are
comfortable with the legislation that governs operations and suppliers and
operators in India, before they are willing to take on that kind of huge, big
capital investments in projects," she said.
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