Indo-US ties moving away from buyer-seller cooperation: PM
On Board PM's Special Aircraft: An upbeat Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said steps have been taken to expand the Indo-US ties and move away from a buyer-seller cooperation to joint development and production in the field of defence.
He sought to allay any apprehensions on implementation of civil nuclear deal, saying there are "no irritants" at the government level.
"I had a very good meeting with President Barack Obama. The end result is in the Joint Statement (issued after the meeting on September 27)," Singh told media persons while returning from the US visit.
Talking about the Joint Declaration on Defence, he said, it is a "step forward" as "we are trying to move away from buyer-seller relationship to a relationship based on co-production, based on co-research".
The Joint Declaration outlines the intent of the two countries to jointly develop and produce defence equipment which will involve transfer of technology from the US. India has been having such cooperation with Russia so far.
The Prime Minister said the new decision in the field of defence is "in line with our own thinking" that India's domestic industry should be involved in research and production in a big way.
He said the government would also like FDI to the extent of 26 percent to come into defence production.
On the issue of civil nuclear deal, Singh noted that the early works agreement has already been signed between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and American firm Westinghouse.
"At government level, there are no irritants in implementation of the deal," he said, seeking to allay any fears on this count.
The Prime Minister said there have been important steps forward in cooperation in the field of knowledge initiative, education, energy and environment-related issues.
"In all these areas, it is an ongoing relationship and we reviewed and we re-committed our two countries to work together to enhance understanding and cooperation," Singh said.
About economic relations, the Prime Minister said the concerns of the US business community are largely because of slowdown in India.
"When Indian economy was growing at the rate of 8 to 9 percent, I think everybody was quite happy. Even when there were defects in our policies, they were overlooked, and when the economy slows down, people try to find fault and excuses," he said.
The Prime Minister said Obama did not go in detail with him on the issue.
"He did understand our concerns but he also said that it is time that the CEOs Forum on both sides sat together to discuss these issues and to find out the meeting ground," he disclosed.