India seeks easing of US high tech export curbs

October 11th, 2010 - 12:57 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama By Arun Kumar
Washington, Oct 10 (IANS) Ahead of President Barack Obama’s November visit to India, the two sides are talking about easing Washington’s curbs on export of high tech items and removing certain Indian units from the US entities list.

“We do feel a number of (Indian) units on their entity list should be removed from their list,” to reflect the growing India-US strategic partnership,” Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters here Sunday wrapping up his four-day visit during which he also met Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

“We are talking,” he said.

Mukherjee, who was here to attend the International Monetary Fund-World Bank annual meetings over the weekend, said he had discussed bilateral issues with Clinton only in general terms before the Obama visit, but did not raise any specific issue.

“I did not raise any specific issue because these discussions are taking place at different levels,” he said when asked if he had raised with Clinton the issue of the steep hike in US H1B visa fees for IT professionals.

Moreover various visiting Indian officials had in recent days discussed their respective subjects.

Mukherjee also reiterated India’s hope that it would get a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, when it is expanded, but he could not say whether it would on the table in talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Obama.

The agenda is being worked out, he said but pointed out that the issue was highlighted at their previous meetings.

“I feel when the reforms in the UN will take place and the Security Council expanded in the permanent category, India will have a place. I hope so,” Mukherjee said. “But first it has to be expanded.”

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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