India engaging with China to resolve differences over NSG: Sushma Swaraj

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also said India will not sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

PTI| Updated: Jul 20, 2016, 13:47 PM IST

New Delhi: Asserting that China had created "procedural hurdles" for India in getting membership of the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the government on Wednesday said it was engaging with its neighbour to iron out differences while expressing hope that the issues would be resolved.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also said India will not sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, adding that New Delhi had managed to get a waiver in 2008 without signing the treaty.

Responding to supplementaries during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha, she said China had questioned how a non-signatory to NPT could become a member of the NSG.

"But we are engaging with it. If someone says 'No' for once, it does not mean he won't agree at all ... Like GST... almost all parties have agreed to it but Congress has not. That does not mean it will never agree (to the GST bill)," Swaraj said amidst Opposition protests over attacks against Dalits in Gujarat, including sloganeering from the Well.

 

The minister rejected suggestions that India had created a lot of "hype" ahead of the NSG meet in Seoul. "We have been taught to make serious efforts to achieve things...No hype was created when we submitted our application for the membership of NSG on May 12. We did it with low fanfare," she said.

Swaraj also scoffed at suggestions by Supriya Sule (NCP) that the denial of NSG membership to India was a 'huge diplomatic snub' as it came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Mexico and Switzerland.

The Minister said Mexico supported India's bid and when the decision did not go in New Delhi's favour, Mexico asked the group to decide again on the issue.

 

Asserting that Indian diplomacy has made its mark, she said earlier people used to ask whether India can make it to the NSG. "Now when India will become a member is the question being asked," she said in the presence of the Prime Minister.

Responding to a question on the benefits of getting NSG membership, Swaraj said India will then become part of "rule making" from its current position of being a "rule taker".

"Waiver is like being allowed in the verandah. Membership is like being in the room...Being part of rule making," Swaraj said.

She said though India has not signed the NPT, it is following the commitments made when it got the waiver in 2008.

Swaraj also credited the previous UPA government for getting the waiver and said while the UPA government followed the commitments, the present government is following the same since it came to power in 2014.

She said membership of the NSG would enable India to have enhanced and uninterrupted access to nuclear technology, fuel and material required for expanding its civil nuclear programme.

"It would create a predictable environment for large investments required for setting up nuclear power plants in India, inter alia, to meet India's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) pledge of 40 percent of its power capacity coming from non-fossil sources by 2030," she said.