USIBC supports clean exception for India at NSG

August 22nd, 2008 - 11:13 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 22 (IANS) The US-India Business Council (USIBC), representing the largest US companies investing in India, has resolved to push for the approval of the India-US nuclear deal by the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) and the US Congress.”We understand that the NSG will require more than one meeting to end India’ s nuclear isolation,” said USIBC president Ron Somers as the nuclear cartel began a two-day meeting in Vienna Thursday to consider a US proposal to give India a waiver.

“But seizing this moment is essential,” he said.

The Washington based trade association, which has spearheaded the US businesses advocating civil nuclear cooperation with India, said it had “mobilised its resolve” to push for NSG approval and Congressional ratification of the deal - both necessary steps for India to commence international civil nuclear trade.

“Today’s meeting at the NSG, just three weeks following the unanimous approval by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors to engage with India in civil nuclear trade, is a crucial step that will bring India into the international mainstream - which is good for nuclear non-proliferation, good for global energy security, and good for the environment,” Somers said.

“The NSG’s admission of India to the global non-proliferation regime will see IAEA safeguards applied to 14 of India’s 22 nuclear facilities, Indian support for the IAEA Additional Protocol, Indian harmonisation with the Missile Technology Control Regime,and other non-proliferation gains,” he said.

“NSG approval of nuclear trade with India will provide power to sustain India’s remarkable 9 per cent growth - a process which has lifted hundreds of millions from poverty,” USIBC said.

Presently, only 55 per cent of Indian households have access to electricity. Without nuclear energy, India will be forced to rely on costly and carbon-emitting fossil fuels for baseload power, it said.

Currently, coal and gas account for 64 per cent of India’s total generating capacity. With international cooperation, India can expand its nuclear capacity from just 4,000 MW to between 30,000 and 60,000 MW in 2030, Somers said.

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