New Delhi: India on Wednesday said it cannot be the target of regime based restrictions and pitched for full membership of export control entities, including the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
Foreign Secretary Rajan Mathai expressed confidence that India can fulfil the requirement of these export control regimes and the logical conclusion for it is to get the full membership of the four multilateral regimes- Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement.
"India cannot be a target of regime-based restrictions. The logical conclusion of partnership with India is its full membership of the four multilateral regimes," he said.
He added that India`s partnership of the four regimes will be mutually beneficial on grounds of common non-proliferation objectives.
"The main purpose and primary objective of India`s enhanced and sustained engagement with these regimes is full membership. We will take forward this process of engagement and apply for membership when the necessary preparations have been completed and the ground has been prepared for India`s full membership," he said.
He was delivering a keynote address at the MEA-IDSA National Export Control Seminar.
"India`s ability to contribute to the fulfilment of those objectives, global industry cooperation and linkages, transfer subject to the highest export control standards, sound commercial considerations and the contributions that the India industry can make with its expanding capabilities and highly qualified work force," he said.
On efforts by India to engage the four regimes, Mathai said, "This year, we have already completed outreach meetings with NSG in Vienna on March one, with MTCR on January 30, with the Wassenaar Arrangement on March 21 and plan the next meeting with the Australia Group in the coming weeks".
Stating that each regime has its own membership criteria, control list and methodology of work, he said, "There are underlying objectives and principles which are common to all the regimes to which India subscribes as it has demonstrated responsible non-proliferation and export control practices."
Mathai told the gathering that India has the ability to produce, manufacture or supply a vast majority of items that are controlled by these regimes.
India has the ability to enforce a legally based domestic export control system which gives effect to the commitment to act in accordance with the respective guidelines of the regimes, he underlined.
Stressing that India has considerable experience in the implementation of its export control systems, he said, "We have witnessed instances of would be proliferators targeting India to source or route their supplies. Our agencies have taken appropriate preventive action in such cases."
Mathai recalled the NSG decision of September 2008 on Civil Nuclear Cooperation which widely recognised India’s impeccable non-proliferation record.
He also mentioned the steps taken by India in this regard such as concluding the Safeguard Agreement with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2009.
"We have already put 12 out of 14 nuclear reactors under IAEA Safeguards. Only two more reactors are required to be notified by 2014," he said.
India has signed civil nuclear cooperation agreements with France, US, Russia, Canada, Argentina, UK, Namibia, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan.
Negotiations are taking place with Japan on a bilateral Nuclear Cooperation Agreement and, "with the US, India signed an agreement setting out arrangements and procedures for reprocessing pursuant to their bilateral Nuclear Cooperation Agreement in July 2010," he said.
He stressed that India has continued with its policy of refraining from transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technologies to states that do not possess them and supporting international efforts to limit their spread.
"We supported the establishment of an IAEA fuel bank resolution adopted by the IAEA Board in December 2010 and by the Board of Governors in March 2011," he said.
Stating that India has the capability to be a supplier state, Mathai said, "India has a longstanding commitment to complete, universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable elimination of nuclear weapons in a time bound manner- a vision that was set forth in the Rajiv Gandhi Action Plan."
"We remain committed to a voluntary and unilateral moratorium on nuclear explosive testing, he said.
On the Indian export control regimes, he said, "Our export controls are in line with highest international standards...Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) is in the process of introducing by June an online application system that would ease the application process."
Noting that Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) is working on a voluntary "Code of Conduct" on export controls, he said,India is open to cooperating with other countries in sharing of experiences and best practices in export controls.