New Delhi: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit later this week, Australia on Wednesday hoped that the administrative arrangement for the supply of uranium to India would be in place by "first half of next year" as it was in the process of getting parliamentary approvals for the same.
India and Australia inked a civil nuclear cooperation agreement during the visit of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott here in September, nearly two-and-a-half years after Canberra lifted the ban on supply of yellow cake.
"Sometime within the first half of next year I would imagine... The objective is to do as fast as possible and that is what we are doing," Australian High Commissioner here Patrick Suckling said when asked about the time-frame for implementation of the nuclear agreement.
He said that the agreement signed during Abbott's visit is now going under various parliamentary and other approvals.
"... When that will be concluded that will be the basis for commercial business between Australian entities and Indian entities wanting to import uranium to India... So, that is progressing very very well... Our Prime Minister is strongly committed to that agreement," he said.
The civil nuclear pact would enable India to get uranium from Australia, which reportedly produced 7488 tonnes of uranium in 2013. It is the world's third-ranking producer behind Kazakhstan and Canada.
Modi will be visiting Australia to attend the G-20 Summit on November 15-16. He will also travel to Canberra where he will hold talks with Abbott on key bilateral and regional issues.
Talking on defence cooperation between the countries, Suckling said, "We do have a strategic and security interest. There has been recent announcements of annual navy to navy exercises."
He further said that there have been discussions on cooperation in other areas of defence and services as well and expressed hope that the issues would be discussed during Modi's visit.
"... I am sure these things will be discussed and it may be that there will be some announcements," he added.