No dilution in IAEA, NSG waiver to India, Pranab assures House

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 15 2009, 04:31am hrs
Dismissing concerns voiced by the Opposition that an adverse resolution passed by the G-8 could have a bearing on the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, the Manmohan Singh government on Monday declared that there was no dilution in the IAEA and NSG waiver given to India last year to conduct nuclear business.

The unambiguous affirmation came from finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, who held the external affairs portfolio in the previous government, while responding to queries on the issue in Rajya Sabha on Monday.

So far as the civil nuclear cooperation is concerned, the appropriate agency is the IAEA and the 45-member group of NSG. We got the clean waiver from them. Therefore, we are not concerned with what resolution or position G-8 takes in respect of a particular issue he said.

It is known that it (G-8) is an outreach meeting. We are not members of the G-8, said Mukherjee.

The matter was initially raised by BJP leader Najma Heptulla, who sought a clarification from the government on reports in the media about the resolution that curbs transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technologies, especially denying it to countries that have not signed the NPT. She was supported by other members including those from the Left parties, who had withdrawn support to the UPA government last year on this issue.

One wonders whether India was consulted before finalising this declaration. The honourable Prime Minister attended the said summit and if India was consulted, did the government agree with the resolve of the declaration and the content of the Consultative Groups proposal she asked. She reminded the House that Prime Minister Singh had said that full means full while referring to the full agreement and the full utilisation of the conditionalities of the civil nuclear cooperation. Joining hands with Heptullah, CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat claimed that the G-8 decision was a signal that the Hyde Act is now coming into operation.

So far as the civil nuclear cooperation is concerned, we have received a clean waiver. We have the India-specific safeguard agreement with the IAEA. We have received clean waiver from 45 NSG countries. And, therefore, we are not deeply concerned, as some honourable members appear to be, from a newspaper report, Mukherjee told the Upper House.

Further, he said that every individual country had the right to decide whether or not to enter into trade with India in nuclear material. Whether it belongs to G-8 or G-24 or G-27, it is up to them to decide whether to enter into any agreement or not, he said.