India exempted of US sanctions only ‘on paper’
New Delhi: Two years after US President Barack Obama announced the removal of Indian entities from the sanctions list, DRDO has said that this has remained only on paper and the impact is not even ten per cent in terms of implementation.
DRDO Chief V K Saraswat, in an interview to PTI, said there was a dispute between India and the US over the definition of dual use technology.
"Today on paper, we have been removed for that list. On paper, instead of denied companies, they have us on the list of positive companies. But in practice, this change has not made any great difference.
"When it comes down to actual implementation of this policy, the impact is very very poor. In terms of gain to defence, I can say it is not even ten per cent," he said.
During the visit of Obama to India in 2010, the US Department of Commerce' Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) had announced the removal of the nine Indian space and defence-related organisations from the Entity List.
Saraswat said there was a parallel regime in form of the 'Control on Dual Use Technology' which continues to function against providing dual use items to India.
Commenting on the long dispute over the dual use technology, he said, "That is continuing and it is not resolved. The US law is that it needs licences and that licensing process is as stringent as the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)."
On the ways of resolving the issue, Saraswat said, "The way out is that you should have a more pragmatic approach about the definition of dual use. The definition of dual use has to be framed properly."
Saraswat said it should not be such that anything
required for defence would be denied just because it may be used for a weapon of mass destruction. "This is a major issue to be resolved," he said.
Asked about his optimism over getting the issue resolved, he said, "While there is a will on both sides to do it, the processes involved in implementing this are too complex in nature. Unless we simplify these processes, it will take a lot of time."
He said there were legal procedures in the US and there were certain issues in India and "unless those processes are simplified, we can't expect a quick result. I am not expecting quick results."
Asked if India would raise the issue during forthcoming visit of US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, Saraswat said the issue has been discussed at various platforms including the structured meetings of the Defence Policy Group and the Joint Technology Group (JTG) which were held recently.
"It has been discussed at various platforms and there are discussions as to how to accelerate the process of giving licenses of dual use items and also take a pragmatic view of the dual use.
"Sometimes, we take a very stringent view of dual use. This is what we have to look at. Just because the defence is asking for it, you are denying it but (you are) selling it to the vegetable vendor," the DRDO chief said.