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India hopes U.S. will relax export control regime

Sandeep Dikshit
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Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Meera Shankar addresses a press conference at the FICCI in New Delhi on Wednesday. FICCI president Rajan Bharti Mittal is at right. — Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Meera Shankar addresses a press conference at the FICCI in New Delhi on Wednesday. FICCI president Rajan Bharti Mittal is at right. — Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Meera Shankar on Wednesday said the Government of India hoped Washington would relax its export control regime on dual-use items to New Delhi as a result of the ongoing negotiations between the two sides.

“Yes, we are expecting progress in that field,” she said when asked about the likelihood of the U.S. easing control of items that are banned or have to go through a licensing process before being exported to India.

At least 10 out of 16 broad high-tech areas were put on the prohibited list aimed at making India ink the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and other laws. The U.S. classifies these in categories such as non-proliferation, national security, missile technologies and crime control.

Outdated controls

India has insisted that these controls are outdated because it was granted an exemption by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), ready to ink the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty, passed export control laws of its own, has an impeccable record in nuclear non-proliferation and would be amenable to signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty provided the other nuclear weapon majors took the initiative.

Informed sources expect the American intention to relax exports control laws in a joint statement that will be issued after talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama, as an India-specific review of the U.S. policy is now on.

Ms. Shankar released a FICCI-Ernst & Young report “Direct Investments in the U.S. by Indian Enterprises.” It revealed that India has emerged as the second-fastest growing investor in the U.S. after the United Arab Emirates.

She said the government wanted to see more U.S. companies' investment in India's infrastructure sector through FDI or by a financial package to fund such projects.


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