Arithmetic of Indo-US deals: $10 bn or $15 bn?

Are the commercial deals between Indian and US companies worth $10 billion, as variously reported, or $15 billion as stated by White House?

Last Updated: Nov 08, 2010, 15:36 PM IST

New Delhi: The mega commercial deals between Indian and US companies that were announced during US President Barack Obama`s visit here have raised one question: Are they worth $10 billion, as variously reported, or $15 billion as stated by White House?

A closer look at fine print suggests both figures have some basis.

According to the White House communique on Nov 6, the total value of these deals does amount to $14.9 billion. But what Obama has preferred to showcase, perhaps to address his domestic constituency, is the $9.5 billion worth of US exports to India due to these deals and which have been highligted by the American media.

"These cross-border collaborations, both public and private, underpin the expanding US-India strategic partnership, contributing to economic growth and development in both countries," said the communique.

These will also support an estimated 53,670 US jobs, the communique added.

"Whenever I`m asked about Indians taking away our jobs, I want to say: You know what, they`ve just created 50,000 jobs," President Obama himself said, referring to these deals during his joint press conference with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Among the largest such deals is one worth $4.1 billion under which the Indian Air Force has reached a preliminary agreement to purchase of 10 C-17 Globemaster III military transport aircraft made by The Boeing Company.

Then there is an order worth $2.7 billion placed by Indian budget carrier SpiceJet for buying 30 Boeing 737-800 commercial aircraft, and another on General Electric to supply 414 engines to power India`s indigenous light combat aircraft.

The other deals include the supply of six advanced gas turbines and three steam turbines for the 2,500-megawatt Samalkot power plant in Andhra Pradesh of Reliance Power, part of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, valued at $750 million.

This apart, the US Ex-Im Bank Agreement will provide Reliance Power $5-billion in financial support for the purchase of US goods and services for 8,000 megawatt of gas-fired electricity generating units and 900 megawatt of renewable energy.

Also announced during the president`s visit is pre-qualification of GE Transportation and Electro-Motive Diesel for a venture to make and supply of 1,000 diesel locomotives over 10 years to Indian Railways valued at over $1 billion.

The other deals cover areas including infrastructure, telecom, instrumentation, homeland security, aircraft, choppers and dredging.