US puts onus on India for N-deal implementation



Washington: Putting the onus on India, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday said the US has made clear the steps New Delhi needs to take "to allow us to move forward" on implementation of bilateral civil nuclear deal.

"We remain fully committed to expanding the civil nuclear cooperation with India and have made clear the steps that India needs to take to allow us to move forward," she said when asked if India's nuclear liability bill was an irritant in the bilateral relations.

Without directly responding to the question, Clinton mentioned two specific steps India needs to take -- ratify the Convention of Supplementary Compensation (CSC) for nuclear damages and engage with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to ensure that the liability regime conforms with the international norms.

India's liability regime has been a bone of contention between it and many of its nuclear partners, including the US, which have expressed reservations about some aspects of the domestic law that they fear will impose huge penalty on foreign suppliers in case of nuclear accidents.

However, Indian officials have maintained that the law was in accordance with international standards but India was ready to allay any apprehension in this regard.

The officials also maintain that New Delhi was well on its way to ratify the CSC by this year end.

Clinton emphasised Washington's commitment on the issue by citing the recent Nuclear Safety Energy Summit in Mumbai, "where you saw a host of top-tier American companies working to expand our private engagement and investment in the civil nuclear sector."

PTI