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|June 18, 1998||
Pallone bill to roll back anti-India sanctionsC K Arora in Washington
Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone proposes to introduce legislation seeking to lift, ''piece by piece,'' nuclear-related economic sanctions imposed on India by the United States, in exchange for certain non-proliferation steps by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in New Delhi.
In a statement released in Washington on Wednesday night, Pallone said if India were to restrict the manufacture of fissile material, which is used in nuclear weapons, all sanctions related to infrastructure would be lifted.
Pallone, who is co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, noted that the current sanctions, which were triggered automatically after India and Pakistan had conducted nuclear tests, could only be lifted through a joint Congressional resolution.
The sanctions -- imposed under Section 102 of the Arms Control Act aka the Glenn Amendment -- halted all non-humanitarian US economic and military assistance, and required the US to oppose all loans to India by international lending agencies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Pallone said, ''Given the unlikelihood of Congress voting to lift the sanctions any time soon, I believe this phased approach that I am proposing is the best way to go about it. It is based on concrete steps being taken to address US non-proliferation concerns, and it can help maintain the growth of US exports to India."
He said the proposed legislation was a way to move away from the punitive nature of the current sanctions regime, and to work towards a policy of greater engagement and co-operation in the effort to achieve the goal of non-proliferation.
The Congressman, who has been advocating India's cause on Capitol Hill, said he was seeking the input of business leaders in drafting the legislation, and was hoping to have a draft of the bill ready before Congress adjourns for its August recess.
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