US industry majors incensed over Left’s stance on N-deal

November 14th, 2007 - 2:19 am ICT by admin  
Michael Gadbaw, General Electric’s vice president and counsel of the company that has done business in India for decades, said that “the crowning achievement,” which was hammered out between Prime Minister Singh and President George W. Bush, “hangs in a delicate balance as politics complicates consideration of the US-India nuclear agreement.”

“The overwhelming bipartisan support for the agreement in the United States Congress has turned our attention to the Indian side where the agreement has been taken hostage by some who will distort the nature of our common purpose,” quoted Gadbaw as saying at a luncheon hosted by the USIBC for the visiting Indian parliamentarians who are part of the India-US Forum of Parliamentarians.

The report by Aziz Haniffa said the US industry, which invested much time and energy and money hiring one of the top lobbying firms in the country to lobby Congress to approve the bilateral civilian nuclear deal, were incensed over the Communist allies of the Congress led UPA government for their opposition to the deal.

Gadbaw added: “From what I can tell of the debate, the party of Jyoti Basu–whom I came to know while he was chief minister of West Bengal and who has done so much for his state — that party has failed to appreciate the importance and significance of this agreement to the future and prosperity of our two countries.”

US-India Business Council President Ron Somers also expressed disappointment over the Left’s stance on the issue, but tried to be diplomatic while reacting.

“Here we are on October 15, we have critical elections upcoming in the United States in about 13 months (and) in India, we are hearing and reading in the newspapers about different equations taking place in the Indian polity.

“We work together now to make certain that we secure the civilian nuclear deal. The civilian nuclear deal in my mind is a lot more than just about civilian nuclear energy cooperation — but certainly it is that also,” he said.

He went on to say that last month he visited the World Nuclear Association in London, “where literally, every nation in the world was looking forward to doing business in India in the civilian nuclear sector.”

“And, the one thing I know about India — and all of you here know about — is that the tremendous need of the hour is in major, major infrastructure development,” he said.

“We are in the cusp of history of moving forward our two great countries,” he said, adding, “I would argue that one element that hard infrastructure need to be focused on is the need for electricity capacity and in India. There is no doubt that is a need.”

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is on a visit to Nigeria, told President Bush during a telephonic conversation that “certain difficulties have arisen with respect to the operationalisation of the India-US civil nuclear cooperation agreement.”

He said that the government would be able to hold safeguard talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over the bilateral deal in the wake of reservations expressed by its Left allies. (ANI)

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